Nick Cordero’s wife, Amanda Kloots, is speaking out about the setback he suffered in his coronavirus battle.
The former Broadway dancer and Radio City Rockette gave her first in-depth interview about her husband’s health crisis Thursday on CBS This Morning. The Broadway actor’s biggest cheerleader says she still believes he will win this fight.
Kloots detailed how Cordero experienced none of the typical COVID-19 symptoms (no fever, no cough) —just extreme fatigue. He visited urgent care, where he was diagnosed with pneumonia and began treating it with medication, but three days later he had gotten much worse.
“We called a friend of ours who's a doctor at Cedars-Sinai [Medical Center in Los Angeles] and he said, ‘Go to the emergency room now,’” Kloots told Gayle King. “This is one of the saddest parts: We thought I would see him in two hours. I said, ‘Call me when ya want me to come pick ya up.’ So I didn't even give him a kiss or a hug because we were also kind of self-isolating from him,” as parents of a 10-month old son, Elvis.
But an hour later, Cordero called and said he had been admitted and was on oxygen. The next morning at 4 a.m. — this was in late March — he called her again and said they were putting him on a ventilator.
“Again, we were just talking over the phone,” she said. “We FaceTimed quickly and he's saying, ‘I love you. Oh my gosh.’ ... He sounded a little scared.”
Kloots, who previously said Cordero had two negative COVID-19 tests before the positive one, said that at that point he started “COVID medicine” and a “deep COVID chest scrape” came back positive.
While Cordero, who was put into a medically induced coma, “started to get better” and plans were made to take him off the ventilator, he developed an infection. She said at one point, his pulse was gone for two minutes and they had to resuscitate his heart.
An extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine, an advanced form of temporary life support to aid respiratory and/or cardiac function, kept him going, but a cannula tube from the machine was restricting blood flow to Cordero’s right leg. She then made the difficult decision to amputate his leg.
“He's a dancer, he's an actor, he's a performer,” Kloots said of her husband, who has appeared in Rock of Ages, Waitress and Bullets Over Broadway. “It was not an easy decision to make.”
Cordero — who no longer has the virus after two negative tests after the amputation — was taken off the ECMO machine in mid-April. MRI results led doctors to say there’s no reason he shouldn’t be able to wake up, yet he hasn’t.
And there have been new setbacks. This week, after a few good days, Kloots said Cordero went into septic shock after an infection in his lungs spread into his blood. His doctors cleaned out his lungs and he was put on a strong antibiotic. However, plans to take him off the ventilator and put in a trach and feeding tube were paused.
“Unfortunately ... his blood count was really, really low,” she said. “Low blood count can mean that he's internally bleeding from somewhere. So now we have to wait.”
Kloots goes to the hospital every day, even though she’s not allowed to see him, and plays Cordero’s original 2018 song “Live Your Life” while sending him good vibes. That song, with the hashtag #WakeUpNick has gone viral on social media. Strangers around the globe play it and dance in an effort to send him healing vibes. And that is what is keeping Kloots going and staying positive.
“I feel like there is an army of people behind him, behind us,” the fitness instructor said. “And I just believe — I get chills saying it — I just believe that he will wake up.”
Kloots can’t wait for that day to come.
“When he hears that everyone is playing his song every day and praying for him, and now [the song] on the radio,” she said. “He won't believe it.”
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