A gay nurse who attended the LGBTQ Task Force’s Winter Party Festival in Miami last month has been hospitalized for COVID-19.
Mike Schultz, a nurse at San Francisco’s California Pacific Medical Center, had attended the annual fundraiser with his boyfriend, Joshua Hebblethwaite, a DJ at the festivities.
The festival, which ran from March 4 to 10 and took place just before strict social distancing was implemented, has been linked to several confirmed cases of coronavirus and at least two deaths. Attendee Israel Carrera, 40, and volunteer Ron Rich have died of the virus.
Schultz, 43, began experiencing symptoms one day after traveling back to his boyfriend’s home in Boston on March 10.
He was hospitalized for the novel coronavirus in mid-March and has been on a ventilator for two weeks at an ICU at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Brighton, Mass., according to a GoFundMe page set up by Schultz’s loved ones to help cover his medical expenses.
“For those of you that don’t know already, our friend Mike has been hospitalized with COVID-19 since the middle of March. Currently, he is in the Intensive Care Unit at St. Elizebeth’s Hospital in Brighton, MA where he has been intubated for over two weeks,” the crowdsourcing page reads.
“We are all aware of how expensive hospital stays are,” the message continued. “Additionally, Mike’s inability to work at this time and during his recovery will cause a huge financial burden that he shouldn’t have to handle on his own. Let’s all pitch in and help this amazing guy however we can — every dollar helps and will go a long way for him.”
Hebblethwaite hosted a fundraiser Saturday in which he spun music to help draw attention to the cause.
“We realize these are crazy times and everyone’s lives, schedules, jobs are upended but anything helps,” he wrote on Facebook.
“I am asking if there is anything you can do to assist Mike with his transition we would be immensely grateful. It’s going to be a long road and he will need all the help he can get.”