The guy wasn’t okay.
Jeff Bridges shares more about his harrowing near-death experience battling COVID and cancer.
In an interview that aired this Sunday on CBS’ Sunday Morning, the 72-year-old opened up about how serious his battle with lymphoma became after he was diagnosed with COVID and spending five weeks in intensive care.
“Oh man – what a journey,” Bridges recounted, before admitting he “couldn’t breathe” and was in “amazing pain” during the ordeal.
When interviewer Ben Mankiewicz asked if he had moments where he thought, ‘Well, that could be it,’ the ‘Big Lebowski’ star replied, ‘Oh the doctors, yes — my wife would be like, ‘He will die?’ And they say, ‘We’re doing our best.’ They wouldn’t reassure her that everything would be fine.”
Bridges, who is celebrating 45 years of marriage to Susan Geston this year, also found it interesting how different people deal with mortality.
“My doctors said, ‘Jeff, you have to fight. man you don’t fight You gotta fight.” And I said… ‘I’m in surrender mode, man.'”
The Oscar-winning “Crazy Heart” actor was doing a home workout at the time and felt something unusual in his stomach. “I had a 12 x 9 inch tumor in my body. Like a child in my body It didn’t hurt or anything,” he said of his doctor’s discovery.
He started on a chemotherapy drug cocktail – and the results seemed promising. But by January 2021, chemotherapy had weakened his immune system and the star contracted COVID before the vaccine was available.
“I had no defense. That’s what chemo does – it robs you of your entire immune system. I had nothing to fight against it,” he said. “COVID made my cancer look like nothing.”
He spent the next five months in the hospital in excruciating pain, yelling for nurses to give him oxygen every time he turned.
Bridges drove through and left the intensive care unit after five weeks. He has since announced his cancer is in remission and has returned to work filming his new FX drama The Old Man.