A Ukrainian fitness influencer died from COVID-19 complications days after admitting he was wrong to think the virus didn’t exist, his ex-wife announced in a heartbreaking tribute over the weekend.
Dmitriy “Dima” Stuzhuk, who had more than 1.1 million followers on Instagram, began feeling sick during a recent trip to Turkey and was immediately hospitalized after returning to Ukraine, he said in a post Wednesday.
The 33-year-old social media star returned home after several days, but he had to be rushed back to the hospital last week after his condition quickly deteriorated. The virus apparently caused irreversible heart complications and Stuzhuk did not resist.
“Dima is no longer with us. His heart could not stand,” his ex-wife, Sofia Stuzhuk, wrote Friday on Instagram.
Her former partner’s last social media post was a pair of selfies he took before leaving the hospital last week. He acknowledged at the time that COVID-19 is not a hoax, as he had incorrectly told his followers.
“I want to share how I got sick and strongly warn everyone: I also thought that there was no covid… Until I got sick,” he wrote in Russian.
Sofia Stuzhuk later shared a touching tribute to her ex-husband, describing him as a a loving and supportive partner.
“We were no longer together, but it hurts me no less. I’m so sorry I’m very sorry. Thank you for everything,” she wrote. “You are our guardian angel and your love will always protect our angels.”
Dmitriy Stuzhuk is one of more than 5,800 Ukrainians who have died from COVID-19 since the virus began spreading across the world less than a year ago. The pneumonia-like illness has also sickened over 300,000 people in the country so far.