Aussie entrepreneur’s ‘scary’ diagnosis spawns cult skincare product: ‘I was basically about to die’
It started with a mild stuffy nose.
But just a few days later, Theo Ikosidekas – the young entrepreneur behind celebrity skincare brand BodyBlendz – was unconscious in a coma and fighting for his life.
At the time, his loved ones were unsure if he would live or walk again – and if he did, would he be brain damaged?
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“I was basically about to die. It was that scary,” Ikosidekas recalled.
“That’s what the doctors were telling me at the time: ‘You know, you’re extremely sick. You’re lucky you’ve come here. If you waited another few hours, you would have probably died.”
The Delta strain of COVID had deprived Ikosidekas’ body of oxygen so severely that, by the time he reached hospital, his oxygen levels had fallen to 72 per cent.
Doctors told him they were unable to get his oxygen levels up and he would have to be put into an induced coma.
Despite his critically ill state, his business smarts kicked in.
“Within an hour, I was sending passwords to my bank and everything to another business colleague because I used to pay everything and I didn’t know how long I was going to be out for or how the business would operate,” he said.
For 15 days, he lay in an induced coma at Melbourne’s Austin Hospital.
“At one stage, I was the sickest person in ICU. And that’s quite a shock, because I’m only 32,” Ikosidekas said.
And while he was lucky to be able to come out of the coma, when he finally did wake, his battle was far from over.
Ikosidekas discovered he would need to learn to walk again, that he had a blood clot in his lung, and that he had acquired a deep “bullet (like) wound” to his face from lying prone for 18 hours a day to encourage oxygen flow.
However, Ikosidekas was determined.
Determined to recover and determined to get back to leading BodyBlendz, the successful skincare brand that has acquired a celebrity fanbase.
One product – the brand’s Glacial Dip Body Glow Exfoliating Hydrator – has received a notable shout-out from Kim Kardashian after being created in collaboration with her friend, model and TV star Nicole Williams English.
Ikosidekas built the brand from scratch in 2014 and its products have now amassed a cult following, with before and after photos showing dramatic transformations on its Instagram page.
“When you’re facing the unknown you focus on what you know and love. And for me that was the creative process of product development,” Ikosidekas said.
So, as he slowly regained his strength and endurance after his COVID battle, he worked on his range.
Recently, he was able to release one of his most successful products yet – the Face & Body Gradual Tanning Anti-Cellulite Lotion – which promises to fight cellulite and tan at the same time, giving radical results for 91 per cent of users in just three weeks.
“We only released two weeks ago and it’s already becoming our most popular product,” Ikosidekas said, proud of the achievement.
But behind the business success, there has been a real physical battle.
“The hospital had said I could have been in there for months. They didn’t know how I would recover,” Ikosidekas said.
“But literally from waking up in the coma, in a week I was out of hospital. That’s how determined I was.
Once home, the road to recovery took approximately a year and was marred by PTSD, as he battled traumatic flashbacks of the dreams he had while in his coma.
His mental stamina was further put to the test in July when he decided to take a business trip to the US to extend the BodyBlendz network.
“That was a big challenge for me after how sick I’d been and knowing what the healthcare system is like in the States but I did it and I’m really glad I did,” Ikosidekas said.
As a result, he is now working on deals with major stockists in the US and UK and and brokered business partnerships in the Middle East.
His battle for life has also helped him appreciate his the spoils of his success and take notice of the small wins.
“I think it’s a setback. It was meant to happen for me. But it has taught me you know, don’t take anything for granted. Tomorrow’s never promised and always enjoy life,” Ikosidekas said.
The entrepreneur’s most recent project was creating a range of stocking fillers featuring the BodyBlendz collection, with gifts for every budget.
Give the gift of year-round glowing skin with this ultimate power duo. Meet: Coffee Buff Coffee Scrub. No frills, just honest-to-goodness skin-loving Arabica coffee grounds that work hard to uncover beautiful skin. Its partner in crime: Coco Luxe Coffee Scrub. A hydrating, anti-bacterial coconut scrub that smells like eternal summer and tropical holidays.
For your work wife, sister or aunt who loves a little self-care. Our Facial Care Gift Set is filled with all the essentials for a Saturday night pamper sesh. Includes: an (adorable) pink headband, our Pink Clay Mask for brighter, clearer and smoother skin, complete with our sugar lip scrub.
A Body Blendz cult classic (and all-around Christmas miracle), this wonder tube slims, lifts and hydrates sagging skin on the neck and jawline, as well as stubborn cellulite on the legs, butt and arms. The perfect gift for the new mums in your life, your bestie, your local barista. You name it, this product is a must-have in anyone’s skincare routine.
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Want to show your mum or sister how much you appreciate them? Help them level up their skin, brows, lashes and lips with our Facial Holiday Set. Complete with a pink bow headband so they can clearly execute their beauty game plan.What’s inside this mega set, you ask? First up are our 2 in 1 Mask + Scrub Exfoliating Capsules for a clear, even-toned complexion. Next, we have our Lash & Brow Oil; specially formulated to safely lessen breakage and falling strands while encouraging new growth. Finally, our Lip Balm to naturally smooth and protect lips from weather and humidity while providing long-lasting moisture. A-game accomplished.
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