Eagles of Death Metal’s Tuesday Cross Is Out of Coma & Reunited With Fiance Jesse Hughes: ‘She Is Our Miracle’
Eagles of Death Metal singer Jesse Hughes paced back and forth outside the Mountain View Convalescent Hospital in Sylmar, Calif., on a humid afternoon on March 15. The 49-year-old barely slept the night before, his lids heavy, his hair slicked back into a tight braid with a pink hair tie, smoking a cigarette, as he anxiously counted down the minutes until he was allowed to see the love of his life again.
His fiancee, 31-year-old Marina Cardenas — better known as EODM’s bassist and keyboardist Tuesday Cross — has been comatose since Jan. 23, after suffering brain damage. It had been 51 days since he last saw her.
” “Is it still time?” he asked Alexandra Snyder, his attorney, via phone. There was a hint of sadness in him eyes and his voice was shaking. “Please.” Please.”
The day before, Hughes had a scheduled appointment and tried to see Cross. He waited outside the facility for about an hour, but no one answered. He wasn’t sure if today would be different.
As Billboard first reported last week, Cross had been at Glendale Memorial Hospital in a vegetative state for approximately six weeks since an asthma attack sent her into cardiac arrest. Cross’ mother Maria Virginia Gaytan directed the hospital to block Hughes from communicating with her daughter and receiving any health updates. He also has documentation that Cross granted him power of attorney over her care last year. On March 8, Glendale Hospital transferred Cross to Mountain View without Hughes’ or his attorney’s knowledge, which was revealed in a Los Angeles Superior Court hearing on March 11. Judge Daniel Juarez ruled Hughes had visitation rights at the new facility. He could and should be informed about any decisions being made by Gaytan. Judge Juarez said he did not want to rule on the power of attorney yet and would like all parties involved to resolve the matter themselves, so he doesn’t have to make that decision, with the next hearing in the matter set for April 22. )
Hughes pulled on his black sweater vest and adjusted his sunglasses. The mirrored lenses reflected the trio Laura Garcia, Jennifer Ortega, and Julian Major, who all found Cross struggling with breathing on the kitchen floor. They rushed her to Glendale Memorial in January and left her there exhausted in an SUV. Angelica Zollo was the daughter of director Fredrick Zollo as well as James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli. She sat on the sidewalk researching long-term care facilities that would accept Cross’ insurance.
But his path was already set. Hughes nodded, his black mask covering his face as the chief nurse explained to him that they had received a copy Cross’ power-of- attorney document and that they had decided that Hughes would be responsible for Cross’ healthcare. “I was intoxicated inside. Hughes said that it meant a lot to her. It was the first time that anyone acknowledged or validated that Tuesday had chosen me to care for her. I also love her, which is something I should have done all along. It was the hardest thing I had to do — that anyone would question my love or suggest that I shouldn’t be there. I wanted her to be taken care of well. It has always been about her.”
As Hughes walked down the long hall towards Cross’ room, he realized everything he had been fighting was over. It hit him suddenly. He was terrified. He was really scared. What if she was unrecognizable? What if he reacts in a negative way? What if she was dead? He was consumed by all the pain and suffering that he suffered, even though he couldn’t see her. Hughes said, “I was worried. I thought, ‘How much more could I take?'” He began to pray. He began to pray, panicking, “Lord, please help my,” he said to himself. Give me strength. I am so afraid. Help me through this.”
He looked around the curtain and saw her. Cross was alive. He was in shock. He was instantly overcome by shock when he saw that she was awake and not in a coma. She blinked as a fan blows air on her face. Her eyes moved and she was breathing normally without the help of a ventilator. Hughes stated that her fingernails were tarnished and that her skin was peeling. She also said that she hadn’t washed her hands in more than two months. (Mountain View cannot discuss details of Cross’ care because it would be against HIPAA. )
But Cross lay there and her dark chocolate eyes opened wide, silently observing Hughes. As he moved about the room, her eyes followed his every move. She tried to speak, but nothing came out. He said to her, “You’re beautiful.” He wept as she stared at his face. He held her hand and she touched and squeezed the surface, even pulling at his fingertips for a second. He kissed her lips and she reacted by kissing him back.
“I didn’t give up on her, because I had a feeling that she would wake up one day,” Hughes said, holding his head in his hands, and crying. Mountain View Convalescent Hospital informed Hughes that she was in a coma at the time they transferred her to their facility on March 8. Although Hughes is not sure what date she awoke, Cross’ mother, Gaytan, texted Billboard and said, “I don’t really know the date, but it was possibly a week or two after her tracheostomy” — which took place on Feb. 4, according to court records. “Then she started breathing on her own little by little.” According to a legal response from the hospital, Leah Nubla, director of quality at Glendale Memorial, wrote on March 11, “According to the medical records, as of the date of this Declaration, the patient remains in a comatose state.”
“She’s alive, at least,” Hughes said. “She is lucid and she understands me when I speak to her. It was worth everything I had to go through. It was all worth it. She is now with me. It was the best moment in my life when Tuesday recognized me. Only her is what matters now. In that second, I knew I could take on anything else — all of it — just for the ability to be with her again and help her through this.”
As Hughes stroked her forehead, she began to sweat. Cross flailed her arms, and unhaven legs in a seizure-like condition. Cross was warned by nurses that this could happen as he hadn’t seen her in so many years. He said, “Baby. Calm down.” Agitated, she stared at him, her eyes focusing on his movements. She stopped suddenly and moved closer to him. He touched her face again and kissed her. He placed his head next hers and stroked her hair. He smelled her, and she responded the same way he did. He touched the scar that was left over her eyebrows from when it had been pierced. He was feeling her pulse and breathing in her air. He looked into her eyes and said, “I love you.”
Cross looked deeply at him. Hughes promised that he would never leave her. Hughes said to her, “I’m not going anyplace now.” “And no one will stop me anymore. I know that you are there and that you will talk and walk again. I don’t care if anyone tells me otherwise. You’re leaving here, baby. You are going to get out of here, baby.
Hughes returned three days later for another visit. He is allowed only two visits for 45 minutes a week right now because of COVID protocols, but the facility has been allowing him to drop by with her belongings and spend 30 minutes with her. Hughes stated that he granted Gaytan permission to visit her daughter and offered her one of his two-day visits. However, he said that she has not responded in eight days to his messages and has not seen her daughter in eight days. (Hughes must have been notified by the facility to approve visits per his POA. Billboard has not communicated with Gaytan since March 14, despite multiple attempts.
Cross was moved to a new room with air conditioning, and a TV. Hughes began to flip through the channels and landed on Investigation Discovery, one her favorite channels. Hughes requested that she be washed and her legs shaved. Her hair was combed and swept into a bun. She was wearing the Cheetah shirt, and socks that Hughes had given her on his first visit to the facility. He said, “They had everything on them that I brought her. It was like it mattered for us both.” She looked so much better. She looked alert, her mannerisms and her movements were all remarkably more determined.”
After five minutes, Jesse’s feeding tube was getting pinched so the alarm continued to sound. Jesse quickly got out of the way when a nurse came in. Cross was looking at Cross, then at the nurse. She seemed upset. Cross looked at him and turned her head. Hughes smiled back.
“Did your hand just squeeze mine, girl?” he asked her, while he sat next to her on the hospital’s bed. “When I am there with her, it is difficult for me to keep my spirits up and keep her encouraged. It can be extremely difficult sometimes because I am so overwhelmed. Since the moment she was found dead on the ground, I have struggled to comprehend every aspect of it. She is slowly improving every day.”
As the light filtered through the hospital window, Hughes was more grateful to have another day with her. Although he is still in shock, he is thankful for the support of his family and friends. He decided to take his time and find out what her long-term needs are. He is still looking into other facilities, but is satisfied with the treatment she is receiving. He said that although I had every right to doubt them, there was no way anyone would be harvesting her organs. “She was trying make it clear what their intentions with Tuesday. It meant so much. They care about her.”
Soon, a UCLA surgeon will visit Cross to see if she is able to have her tracheostomy taken out. She has been licking her mouth and swallowing lately. Hughes bought $500 splints that Medi-Cal had not approved yet, so she can start her physical therapy immediately. “There is now an expectation that she can get better and recover. This is what was so frustrating about Glendale hospital. They wanted her to be taken off life support. Hughes stated that Hughes had never considered the possibility. “Now there is.” (As Billboard reported in our original story, a spokesperson for Glendale Memorial Hospital said they “cannot disclose any information regarding any patient due to HIPAA regulations and California privacy laws.”)
He wiped away his tears and took a deep inhale, exhaling. He proudly stated, “In just a few days she’s shown more improvement than she had in the entire past months.” He said, pausing for a moment. She is improving. She has an army that supports and believes in her. It’s Tuesday’s Army. She is a fighter. She is our miracle.”
I have been writing professionally for over 20 years and have a deep understanding of the psychological and emotional elements that affect people. I’m an experienced ghostwriter and editor, as well as an award-winning author of five novels.