jeff bridges ‘almost lost it all’ during pandemic

during his health battle, jeff bridges was hospitalized for more than four months and thought he might never work again.

jeff bridges' contracted covid-19 while receiving cancer treatment
“i remember the doctors saying to me, ‘jeff, you gotta fight,’” jeff bridges tells e! news. reuters/mario anzuoni

crazy heart academy-award-winner jeff bridges has been away from the spotlight until recently because of his health. the 72-year-old was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2020 and then contracted covid-19 while he was receiving cancer treatment, popculture reports .

now with his cancer in remission, he’s teamed up with astrazeneca biopharmaceuticals in a heart-tugging commercial to raise awareness about the risks of being immunocompromised during the pandemic.

“i almost lost it all,” bridges says in the new ad that was posted to instagram on thursday. “my immune system was totally shot. fortunately, you don’t have to wait around for the worst. you can up your antibodies before covid comes knocking.”

he also sums it up simply, “i love bein’ alive man,” as he walks along a cinematic forest path playing his guitar, gifted to him by jackson browne, in the sunshine.

the spots, part of the  up the antibodies  campaign to promote an antibody therapy option for immunocompromised people to protect against covid-19, were filmed at the botanical gardens in santa barbara, california where bridges and his wife susan like to visit.

bridges told e! news he is lucky to be alive. he had contracted the virus before vaccines were available and had “nothing to fight it” because chemotherapy crushed his immune system. “i was just really at death’s door a couple of times there.”



during his health battle, bridges was hospitalized for more than four months and thought he might never work again. he also feared he wouldn’t be able to see his daughter haley, 36, get married.
“i remember the doctors saying to me, ‘jeff, you gotta fight,’” he says. “i had no idea what they were talking about. i thought, ‘man, i’m in surrender mode here.’ with a great medical team, great trainers and my family, everybody brought me back.”

immunocompromised? here are some steps to protect yourself 

vaccines are working well to reduce severe outcomes like hospitalization and death from the virus, although public health experts see reduced protection over time — especially for immunocompromised people — and boosters are recommended, says the centers for disease control and prevention (cdc) .

the cdc also stresses the importance for immunocompromised people to continue to be diligent when it comes to masking and social distancing. those individuals are advised to wear a mask or respirator, maintain social distancing, improve ventilation and avoid contact with people who have suspected or confirmed covid-19.
and get tested if you have symptoms and follow recommendations for what to do if you have been exposed. stay home if you have suspected or confirmed covid-19, and get treated if your case is confirmed.

according to health canada, as of april 14, 2022 astrazeneca’s long-acting monoclonal antibody therapy, evusheld, is available to people with compromised immune systems in canada for the prevention of covid-19.



the drug is approved for use in adults and children (12 years of age and older, weighing at least 40 kg) who currently are not infected with covid-19 and have not had recent known contact with someone infected with covid-19. further, it’s available to those people who are immunocompromised and unlikely to mount an adequate immune response to a covid‐19 vaccination, or those for whom covid-19 vaccination is not recommended.

about 14 per cent of canadians are at higher risk

statistics canada data in 2020 reports that around 14 per cent of canadians aged 15 years or older have a compromised immune system that increases their risk of serious health outcomes from covid-19.

statscan also found that roughly 38 per cent of canadian adults living in private households have one or more underlying health conditions that may put them at higher risk of complications following covid-19 infection.

“in general, the proportion of individuals with underlying health conditions increased with age, and these conditions were more often reported among men (39.6 per cent ) than among women (36.1 per cent).”

as cbc news reports , some immunocompromised canadians are facing an anxious future as covid-19 restrictions have been lifted.



“we definitely are very hesitant to go to anybody’s place or to have anybody over here,” eric glass, a 65-year-old retired paramedic from winnipeg who has multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, told cbc. his wife is an insulin-dependent diabetic and has leukemia.
he’s also concerned about access to health-care if there’s a spike in covid-19 cases. “we are both fragile enough that we do need that health-care system to be available to us.”
karen hawthorne is a toronto-based writer. 
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