▶ Watch Video: Christopher Cross on his near-fatal COVID illness

Singer-songwriter Christopher Cross was diagnosed with COVID-19, and he said it nearly killed him. The virus left the Grammy Award-winner paralyzed and in intensive care for 10 days – what Cross described (in an interview with “CBS Sunday Morning” correspondent Serena Altschul) as the darkest days of his life.

“There was some, you know, come-to-Jesus moments or whatever, where I was looking for any help I could get … to get out of this thing, because I wasn’t sure,” Cross told Altschul, in his first television interview since battling the virus.

The interview will be broadcast on “CBS Sunday Morning” October 18.

Cross, 69, known for such hits as “Sailing” and “Ride Like The Wind,” was diagnosed after a trip to Mexico City. He and his girlfriend both tested positive and were sick for about three weeks. He felt good enough to go to the supermarket in April, and when he got home, his legs gave out. He was then diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which caused his body to attack his nerves.

His doctors believed it was caused by COVID-19.

“It was the worst 10 days of my life,” Cross says. “And I couldn’t walk, could barely move. And so, it was certainly the darkest of times for me, you know? It really was touch-and-go, and tough.”

In the darkest moments, Cross said he was asking for help wherever he could find it. “I could tell you that I had a few conversations, you know, when I was in there – with whoever He or She is, and just saying, you know, ‘If you could just get me out of here, I will be a better person,'” he said.

In an emotional interview, Cross opened up about getting sick; fears that he would never perform again; his fight to walk again; and why he’s speaking out now to help others.

Singer-songwriter Christopher Cross was paralyzed and in intensive care for what he tells “CBS Sunday Morning” were the worst 10 days of his life.

CBS News

“I’m not a big celebrity, but it’s important for people to know you can get this disease,” he told Altschul. “And so, I felt it was sort of my obligation to share with people: ‘Look, this is a big deal. Like, you’ve got to wear your mask. You’ve got to take care of each other. Because, you know, this could happen to you.'”

The paralysis was temporary, but he still struggles to recover. Unable to walk at first, he used a wheelchair, and now he uses a cane to get around.

“So yeah, my walking is affected,” he said. “My speech at times can be affected. Memory is a big deal, too. Just neurologically, I’m kind of a little foggy, you know? Now I’m on medication … a nerve pain medication, which also can cause some fogginess. But until I can get off it at some point, I won’t know how clear I would be. But most people with Guillain-Barre heal about 90% to 100% over about a year. That’s what my prognosis is.” 

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The Emmy Award-winning “Sunday Morning” is broadcast on CBS Sundays beginning at 9 a.m. ET. “Sunday Morning” also streams on CBSN [beginning at 9 a.m. ET] and CBS All Access, and is available on cbs.com and On Demand.

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