Kirill Tereshin, The Russian ex-MMA fighter dubbed “the real-life Popeye,” may die if he doesn’t have his toxic bicep implants removed.
In 2019, Tereshin had six liters of a toxin called Synthol injected into his arms. The chemical, which is made of hardened petroleum jelly, gave the ex-soldier unrealistically large biceps and triceps. The looked turned Tereshin into a real-life Popeye.
The enhanced muscles did not lend the fighter any strength, though. Shortly after his surgery, Tereshin competed and lost against a man 20 years older than him. Not long after the match, Tereshin started experiencing painful reactions to the implants. It was soon discovered that the highly dangerous chemical was penetrating his skin tissues.
Kirill Tereshin nearly died by late 2019, but his doctors were able to raise funds to remove his triceps. That procedure, which took three pounds of Synthol and dead muscle tissue, saved his life. However, 75 percent of the Vaseline-like implant remains in his body. Doctors say he still has at least three more surgeries ahead of him.
According to Dr. Dmitry Melnikov of Sechenov Moscow State Medical University, the substance blocks blood flow to Tereshin’s real muscles. “As a result, the tissue dies and gets replaced with a scar which is as tough as a tree.” Dr. Melnikov said that his heath will continue to deteriorate because the toxins are attacking his internal organs.
The Real-Life Popeye Could Die Without Further Surgeries
Real-life Popeye, Kirill Tereshin, still has to go under the knife at least three more times. But the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused scheduling issues. His team of doctors has warned the MMA fighter that unless they get him in the hospital soon, he could die.
“The risk of complications, in this case, is very high, but inaction will not help the patient,” said his surgeon, Dr. Dmitry Melnikov. “A toxic substance in the body long term can complicate the kidneys and lead to death.”
However, his medical team is working hard to remove the deadly Popeye implants before it’s too late. Recently, Tereshin told a local media outlet that he’ll be going under the knife soon.
“I did not think about the consequences,” he continued.
Tereshin credits Alana Mamaeva, a campaigner against plastic surgery abuses, and his doctors for keeping him alive.
“I am very lucky that there are doctors who took me on. God forbid something happens to this nerve and I cannot move my arm,” said Tereshin. “I really worry about this, he told reporters. “I blame myself, I know I’m guilty,” he said.