Flex Wheeler Released From Hospital, Discusses Battle With COVID-19

Legendary bodybuilder details battle with COVID-19 after released from hospital.

It was not an easy road for Flex Wheeler but the bodybuilding legend has defeated COVID-19. Wheeler was recently released from the hospital and shared yet another update on his health. This time, it was not from a hospital bed but from his hotel in Orlando.

On Wednesday, Wheeler shared a 12-minute video where he shared details about how he contracted COVID-19 and his long battle with the virus. He began by explaining how he caught the virus in the first place.

Wheeler explains that he was in England for the 2021 Arnold Classic and this is where he caught the virus. Wheeler did not begin to experience symptoms until he was home and preparing to fly out to the Olympia. He returned home from England on Monday and was prepared to fly to Orlando on Wednesday.

“Wednesday on my flight, I just started feeling horrible. My body started aching and cranking and I remember, like, reaching for my lat, my trap and my arm cramped. Goddamn, you know. It feels like I’ve been working out but I haven’t worked out in a really long time. It just got worse,” Wheeler said.

“By the time i had gone up to my room wednesday, i just went straight to bed. i hardly left my room at all.”

“I was screaming in my sleep because I had such severe body aches.”

Flex Wheeler was preparing to work with production during the 2021 Olympia. He had competed in six Olympia competitions throughout his career with four top-three finishes, including three as a runner-up. Wheeler was victorious during the Arnold Classic four times. Wheeler has drawn plenty of praise from Arnold Schwarzenegger himself.

While Wheeler was not preparing to compete, he was still going to be part of the event. Instead, his symptoms continued to get worse and this is when he decided to do something about it.

“I woke up Friday at 5 in the morning and the entire bed was drenched again. I was like’ you know, you’re up here worried about your pride or being embarrassed and you’re gonna f around and die here in this damn hotel bed.’ So I called 911.”

Flex Wheeler met the emergency officers and he was diagnosed with COVID-19 at the hospital. This is where Wheeler remained and received treatment for several weeks.

Wheeler continued to explain how he felt worse each day and it began with his lungs. Wheeler underwent a kidney transplant in 2003. He retired from bodybuilding that same year in order to remain on top of his health. To this day, Wheeler is still medicated because of his condition.

The doctors explained to Wheeler that he would have to be taken off his kidney medication so that his lungs, which were deteriorating, could be treated properly.

They told me they had to put my kidney at risk because my immune system had not come online yet to fight and that my lungs were getting worse and worse every time they take an X-ray or a CAT scan,” Wheeler explained.

“They would show me the scarring and the white tissue. They said ‘if you don’t get ahead of this curve, you’re going to be on a ventilator and it’s downhill from there.”

This was a decision that the doctors made to save Wheeler’s lungs. At the same time, some damage might have been done to his kidneys in the process. This was a decision that had to be made to keep Wheeler in his best interest.

Wheeler finished his video by thanking the doctors and medical staff that took care of him during his recovery.

“I’m just thankful for all the doctors, all the nurses, all the overwhelming messages that I got from all the internet mediums, and the outpour of love and respect and appreciation. It didn’t fall on deaf ears. I can never show you how much I appreciate that.”

Flex Wheeler expressed his excitement in returning home from Orlando. He will continue to monitor his health and improve from this moment on.

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Greg has covered the four major sports for six years and has been featured on sites such as Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, SB Nation, NJ.com, and FanSided. Now, he is transitioning into the world of bodybuilding and strength sports.