Nearly two months after Nick Cordero miraculously woke up from being in a medically induced coma for six weeks due to complications from coronavirus, the Broadway star died on July 5, 2020. He was 41.
While Cordero’s cause of death was complications from COVID-19, his body had cleared of the virus by mid-April. However, while he remained in Cedars-Sinai’s intensive care unit for 95 days, Cordero contracted numerous lung infections that continued to weaken his progress, and his right leg was amputated due to blood clots.
At the end of May, Cordero’s wife, Amanda Kloots, said, “Nick is doing slightly better than yesterday. He is still very sick and battling a lot. They turned him to a proning position to open his airways. He has had this before and it helped a lot. They also cleaned his lungs out again to help fight the infection. He is and has been COVID negative now for weeks. What he is and has been dealing with is the [fall]out from the virus and from infections that arise from being in the ICU as long as he has.”
Kloots, 38, a former Radio City Rockette who’s been taking care of their 1-year-old son Elvis, remained a vision of strength throughout the awful ordeal and has amassed fans worldwide as she’s stood by her husband’s side during this ongoing nightmare.
On July 2, Kloots said, “They told me four times that he won’t survive. Sometimes even he won’t survive through the night, but he has. I believe that God is the only person that’s going to decide when and if my husband goes. So I will never try to play that role. He’s fighting. I see it every day. Nick’s doctor sees it. And as long as he’s in there and fighting, I’ll continue to fight with him.”
On July 5, Kloots shared the devastating news that Cordero had died. She wrote, “God has another angel in heaven now. My darling husband passed away this morning. He was surrounded in love by his family, singing and praying as he gently left this earth.
“I am in disbelief and hurting everywhere,” Kloots continued. “My heart is broken as I cannot imagine our lives without him. Nick was such a bright light. He was everyone’s friend, loved to listen, help and especially talk. He was an incredible actor and musician. He loved his family and loved being a father and husband. Elvis and I will miss him in everything we do, everyday.”
Here’s what you need to know about Cordero’s COVID-19 illness:
Cordero Would’ve Needed a Double Lung Transplant to Live the Kind of Life He Wanted to Live, Kloots Said
In a July 2 interview with CBS This Morning, Kloots said, “Our ultimate, ultimate goal would be to get him to be a candidate for a double lung transplant. [There’s] a 99% chance that he would be needing that in order to live the kind of life that I know my husband would want to live. … That is a long road away and a lot of things would have to line up in order for Nick to be a candidate for that.”
In early June, a double lung transplant was out of the question for Cordero, so it was a huge sign of improvement for this to even be a part of the conversation.
Kloots said on Instagram that she’d read all about the young woman in Chicago who received a double-lung transplant. Her lungs were so damaged by COVID-19 that she would have died without her blood being oxygenated outside her body on an ECMO machine. On June 5, the doctors at Northwestern Memorial Hospital performed the first successful double-lung transplant on a coronavirus patient to help her chances of making a full recovery.
Kloots said that while her husband and this “inspiring” young woman’s cases were very similar, as they both spent nearly two months in the intensive care unit on a ventilator or other machine, and both suffered from ongoing infections in the lungs, that Cordero was too weak to survive such an invasive surgery.
“Unfortunately, at this time, we don’t think Nick could handle or survive a lung transplant. So, this isn’t on the table for nick at the moment. If one day, he does get strong enough, maybe this is something that could be a possibility for Nick. But right now, [it’s] not a possibility. He just wouldn’t survive.”
Cordero Lost 65 Pounds While in the ICU
During a Q & A session on Instagram Live on June 24, Kloots answered numerous questions about Cordero’s health and what was to come. She said, “What’s so heartbreaking is that he’s so weak. He’s so weak that he still can’t move and his muscles are definitely atrophying.
“This is really hard because what Nick has lost is muscle,” Kloots continued. “His muscles are just atrophied.” When a fan asked if it was a “priority” for doctors to help Cordero regain the 65 pounds he’d lost while being in the ICU, “You can’t really gain your muscle back until you can move, so they have him on some high protein and high-calorie food, but he’s gotta move,” Kloots answered.
Cordero Did Not Have Any Underlying Health Conditions Prior to Contracting COVID-19
Cordero, a Tony Award-winning actor who starred in the Broadway musicals Waitress and Rock of Ages, spent 42 days in the intensive care unit at Cedars-Sinai hospital and needed his right leg amputated due to blood clots. He did not have any underlying health issues, according to Kloots.
Kloots, who’s been married to Cordero since 2017, wrote on Instagram:
Nick is 41 years old. He had no pre-existing health conditions. We do not know how he got COVID-19, but he did. He went to the ER on March 30th and intubated on a ventilator on April 1. Since then has he has suffered an infection that caused his heart to stop, he needed resuscitation, he had two mini-strokes, went on ECMO, went on dialysis, needed surgery to [remove] an ECMO cannula that was restricting blood flow to his leg, a [fasciotomy] to relieve pressure on the leg, amputation of his right leg, an MRI to further investigate brain damage, several bronchial sweeps to clear out his lungs, a [sepsis] infection causing septic shock, a fungus in his lungs, holes in his lungs, a tracheostomy, blood clots, low blood count and platelet levels, and a temporary pacemaker to assist his heart. This disease does not only [affect] old people. This is real. A perfectly healthy 41-year-old man!