Jeff Bridges says Covid left him ‘close to dying’ – made his cancer ‘look like nothing’13/07/2022
Jeff Bridges teases potential sequel to The Big Lebowski
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Bridges, who won an Oscar for his performance in Crazy Heart, received chemotherapy shortly after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2020. The chemo worked but “stripped” him of his immune system. It was only a matter of time before he caught COVID-19.
The Big Lebowski star, who caught Covid in January 2021, told Entertainment Weekly last month: “Cancer-wise, yeah remission, and Covid, you know, that made my cancer look like nothing.
“I did my chemo for the cancer and that stripped me of all my immune system, so then I got Covid on top of that, and it wiped me out.”
Bridges spent nearly five months in hospital in extreme pain, and couldn’t roll over without support.
“I was pretty close to dying. 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. I was dancing with my mortality,” he told People Magazine in May.
He was reported to have received convalescent plasma to treat his Covid – the blood of other people who have suffered from the same disease.
This eventually helped the star to recover as he “started taking baby steps”.
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Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is an uncommon form of cancer that develops in the lymphatic system, consisting of glands and vessels which move lymph around the body.
Lymph is a fluid that contains white blood cells, which are vital for fighting off an infection.
The NHS explains that symptoms of the disease include night sweats, unintentional weight loss, and breathlessness.
However, the most common symptom is swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, or groin.
You shouldn’t panic if your lymph nodes swell because they may also swell for many other, more common, reasons. They often swell up when the body is fighting other infections, the health body states.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is known to weaken the immune system, and as Bridges experienced, this can become worse with the use of chemotherapy treatment.
Chemo can further lower the number of white blood cells by harming the cells in the bone marrow – responsible for producing these cells.
Since his ordeal, Bridges is back at his job and recently finished filming for the spy drama The Old Man.
But the world is lucky to have him back. Although the five-year survival rate for people with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is 73 percent, the treatment he had made him more likely to die from Covid.
Having a low blood cell count has been shown in studies to increase the risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19.
If you experience persistent symptoms of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, be sure to make an appointment with your GP.
However, because non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can take years to develop to become dangerous, doctors may recommend the “watch-and-wait” approach, if it is in its early stages, explains the NHS.
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