Ukrainian fitness influencer who branded COVID-19 a hoax dies from virus after trip to Turkey

Ukrainian fitness influencer who branded COVID-19 a hoax dies from virus after trip to Turkey
Father-of-three Dmitriy Stuzhuk had woken up with a swollen neck and breathing difficulties and was hospitalized on returning to his native Ukraine. (Instagram: @stuzhuk_dmitriy)
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Updated 19 October 2020

Ukrainian fitness influencer who branded COVID-19 a hoax dies from virus after trip to Turkey

Ukrainian fitness influencer who branded COVID-19 a hoax dies from virus after trip to Turkey
  • Dad-of-3 Dmitriy Stuzhuk, 33, contracted disease in Turkey, died in Kiev hospital from underlying heart condition

LONDON: A fitness influencer who branded the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) a hoax has died after contracting the virus during a trip to Turkey.

Father-of-three Dmitriy Stuzhuk had woken up with a swollen neck and breathing difficulties and was hospitalized on returning to his native Ukraine.

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Dima Stuzhuk (@stuzhuk_dmitriy) on

 

His ex-wife, Sofia Stuzhuk, later announced that he had died from heart complications triggered by the infection.

Stuzhuk, 33, had more than 1 million followers on Instagram and had previously told them that COVID-19 did not exist.

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Dima Stuzhuk (@stuzhuk_dmitriy) on

 

However, in a post to fans after being taken to hospital, he said: “I want to share how I got sick and to strongly warn everyone. I was one who thought that Covid does not exist … until I got sick.

“COVID-19 is not a short-lived disease! And it is heavy,” he added.

Stuzhuk also posted a photograph of himself wearing an oxygen mask to help him breathe.

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Dima Stuzhuk (@stuzhuk_dmitriy) on

 

He was initially released from an overcrowded hospital in the Ukrainian capital Kiev after spending eight days there but was rushed back in within hours after his condition deteriorated.

Stuzhuk leaves behind three children David, Lola, and Olivia, the youngest of which is 9 months old.

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Dima Stuzhuk (@stuzhuk_dmitriy) on

 

Turkey has recorded almost 350,000 COVID-19 cases, though the Turkish Medical Association believes the true figure to be far higher.