Jeff Bridges Was "Pretty Close to Dying" After Contracting COVID During Chemotherapy

"I was in surrender mode. I was ready to go"

Photo: Tristan Loper

BY Megan LaPierrePublished May 26, 2022

Jeff Bridges has revealed that he was "pretty close to dying" after contracting COVID-19 while undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.

After being diagnosed with lymphoma in late 2020, the actor and artist shared that his illness was in remission last September. In a new interview with People Magazine, Bridges disclosed that he contracted COVID in January, which caused his health to plummet.

Since chemo is an immunosuppressant, Bridges' weakened immune system left him especially vulnerable to the effects of the virus.

"I had no defences. That's what chemo does — it strips you of all [of] your immune system," he told the publication. "I had nothing to fight it. COVID made my cancer look like nothing."

The severity of his case took an immense toll on the actor, forcing him to spend five months in the hospital. He recalls not being able to roll over in his bed without being on an oxygen tank and receiving assistance from a nurse.

"I was pretty close to dying," Bridges admitted. "The doctors kept telling me, 'Jeff, you've got to fight. You're not fighting.' I was in surrender mode. I was ready to go."

He added: "I was dancing with my mortality."

Thankfully, Bridges began to improve through treatment with convalescent plasma, which uses blood from people who have recovered from an illness to aid others in their recovery.

"I started taking baby steps," he said of beginning to work with a physical therapist three times a week. Each day brought more strength and more hope. He began working with a physical therapist three times a week and is now in remission.

"Who would say, 'I'd love some cancer and give me a dose of COVID? But my ability to receive all the love and give it was just heightened," the actor effused. "Everything was turned up in the most beautiful way."

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