Jeff Bridges has overcome some huge health struggles over the past few years, but the actor is looking towards the future—and delivering a message to the immunocompromised who are working to avoid COVID-19.
Bridges’ Cancer Battle Led To A Serious COVID Case
In 2020, Bridges announced that he had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The actor underwent chemotherapy and his cancer soon went into remission. However, shortly after, Bridges contracted COVID-19.
Because he tested positive so soon after his last chemotherapy session, Bridges was immunocompromised and had trouble fighting off the illness. The actor spent five weeks in the hospital recovering.
“COVID … hit me pretty hard because that chemo I was getting stripped me of my immune system,” Bridges said in an interview with Up The Antibodies, a campaign that raises awareness about the dangers immunocompromised people are still facing. “Turns out that COVID made my cancer look like a piece of cake.”
He continued, “So the COVID knocked me out. It was a bizarre experience. Everybody was in these blue gowns with masks on and reflective visors. It was like being in The Twilight Zone, you know, very bizarre.”
‘Not Everybody Understands What It Feels Like To Be Immunocompromised’
Jeff Bridges recovered, but he wasn’t out of the woods yet. His immune system was still weak, which meant interacting with others could be very dangerous. “Friends would have to sit far away, outside or something, and we would talk,” the actor explained. “And I’m a pretty tactile person. I like hugging and stuff, so we couldn’t do much of that. Well, none of that.”
“Not everybody understands what it feels like to be immunocompromised and what people are going through right now,” Bridges shared. Even though the actor has recovered, he is still immunocompromised—but that’s not holding him back.
The Shot That’s Helping Bridges Feel Safe From COVID
Bridges received a EVUSHELD injection, which combines with the COVID-19 vaccine to give extra support to those with weakened immune systems. This injection has made returning to everyday life much easier for Bridges and others who are immunocompromised.
“For people like me who are immunocompromised, wow, it makes all the difference,” he said of the injection. “I’m a guy who likes to hug people and see my family and that’s not that unusual I don’t think. This allows me to, you know, be a little more confident that I’m going to be all right when I do those things.”
Bridges’ partnership with Up The Antibodies is shedding light on the struggles immunocompromised people still face and providing solutions for those with weak immune systems who are ready to get back to a more normal life.