Jeremih Opens Up About Near-Deadly Battle With COVID-19

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The R&B singer fought through memory loss, organ failure, and learning to walk again.

Jeremih detailed his harrowing battle with coronavirus during a joint interview with Chance the Rapper on Sway’s Universe on Tuesday (Dec. 15) promoting their latest Merry Christmas Little Mama collaboration. The Chicago native, who called himself “living, walking testimony,”  opened up about learning to walk again, suffering memory loss and more.

“I was really down bad for the last month and a half that I was in there,” he explained of his time at Chicago’s Northwestern Hospital. “I don’t even remember the day I went in there that’s how messed up I was.”

According to Jeremih, the hospital initially blocked his mother, Gwenda Starling, from seeing him due to COVID restrictions but allowed her to see him after Chance the Rapper intervened. Although Jeremih doesn’t remember anything from being in the ICU, Starling has showed him photos.

“I had a tube down my throat for about a week and a half. I was really like in a dream, I woke up two times and all I remember seeing is a white light.”

Jeremih also developed “multiple inflammatory syndrome” a “rare cause and effect” of the disease. “All my organs became inflamed. My heart started beating irregularly, my kidneys went out, my liver started to go bad. Mind you, I didn’t know what was gong on at the time. I was out.

“Once I was removed from ICU after that week and a half I was going through recovery where I had to learn how to walk again, eat, all that stuff. Mind you, I’ve never been to a hospital in my entire life — not for a broken bone, not for nothing. So just to be in there I look at it as a blessing. As crazy as it might sound, I needed to sit down. I needed to take a break.”

The 33-year-old R&B artist noted that he hasn’t really taken a break in the last 13 years of his career. “It’s been one long party, I ain’t gon’ lie to you. A lot of things now I don’t take for granted. Sometimes you have to have a setback for the big payback.”

Being in the hospital gave Jeremih time for reflection, and motivated him to go harder. “Whatever I’ve done before now I’m going to do it to the 10th power because it’s a reason why I’m still here,” he said before joking, “I got my voice again, learned how to walk again, now I gotta learn how to run and bust a move like [Chris Brown].”

Jeremih says he will be staying at his mother’s house for the rest of the year. Listen to the full interview below.