Broadway star Nick Cordero is "doing okay" after undergoing a tracheostomy procedure amid his battle with COVID-19, according to his wife, fitness trainer Amanda Kloots.
"He is doing okay. His vent[ilator] settings are down, which is good," Kloots said on Instagram over the weekend. "That’s a really great sign that his breathing is going well ... I think the more days that he has of this, might help his brain to wake up.”
Cordero, a Tony-nominated actor, initially went to the hospital in late March with what they thought was pneumonia, according to Kloots. He later tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, and was put into a medically induced coma to help his breathing.
The former star of Broadway hits including "The Waitress" and "Bullets Over Broadway" has been sedated and in the ICU since April 1. Cordero had his right leg amputated in late April after blood thinners used to help with clotting in Cordero's leg caused blood pressure issues and internal bleeding, according to Kloots.
Cordero's lungs have been so damaged by COVID-19 that they look as if the 41-year-old actor has smoked cigarettes for 50 years, Kloots told her Instagram followers last week.
"Due to COVID, Nick’s lungs are severely damaged, to look almost like he’s been a smoker for 50 years. They’re that damaged," she said. "There are holes in his lungs where obviously you don’t want holes to be."
"This was found because his oxygen count went down and they went deep down into his lungs," Kloots added.
Doctors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where Cordero is being treated, planned to do a scan of the actor's lungs to "get a better picture of what's going on" and try to determine the type of fungus in his body so they can attack it with medication, according to Kloots.
"The doctor told me that if Nick was in his 70s we’d be having a different conversation," Kloots said. "He’s 41 and he’s been fighting, he’s been fighting really hard. We know. He’s literally been thrown every curve ball that he could be thrown."
"[The doctor] told me that if it was his brother in there that he would not be giving up hope, so I’m not giving up hope," she said. "I am not giving up hope."
Getting help from celebrity friends
Kloots, Cordero and her infant son, Elvis, recently moved from New York City to Los Angeles so that Cordero could star in an L.A. production of "Rock Of Ages," which he also starred in on Broadway.
Actor Zach Braff, a close friend of Cordero's, revealed that Cordero, Kloots and Elvis had been staying in his guest home for the past seven months as they searched for a house in Los Angeles. Kloots and her brother and sister, who are staying in Los Angeles to help her, are now staying there while Cordero is hospitalized, according to Braff.
"He has it worse than anyone I've heard of who hasn't passed away," Braff told The Hollywood Reporter of Cordero, whom he called "one of my best friends in the world. "He's 41 and he's unconscious at Cedars — he's on a ventilator, he's lost his leg due to complications, and every day we don’t know what will happen."
"He's a very beloved man, one of the kindest people you'll ever meet," Braff said of his friend. "There's just a non-stop stream of people dropping things off. And he was in 'Rock of Ages,' the show that they were doing out here, and his 'Rock of Ages' cast literally takes turns taking the baby on stroller walks."
The "Rock of Ages" cast in Los Angeles has also used their musical talents to support Cordero. Kloots shared a video on Instagram of the cast and crew singing the Journey song "Don't Stop Believin'" in honor of Cordero.
Kloots has not been able to see her husband since he went into the hospital because of restrictions put in place to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
She shares daily updates on Cordero with her more than 170,000 followers on Instagram, including showing the daily visits she makes to Cedars-Sinai, where she stands outside to support her husband.
Kloots also logs onto Instagram every day at 6 p.m. EST/3 p.m. PST, to join people around the world singing and dancing to Cordero's own song, "Live Your Life."
"It is very hard to deal with," Kloots said on Instagram Thursday. "I’ve definitely let myself cry. I have definitely let myself scream and rage and just be frustrated, but I think what I always come around to is that, what will help Nick the most right now? What will help me the most right now?"
"It serves me no purpose just to sit and worry and go down a hole, so I’m not," she said. "If I can give anything to Nick, it’s light and it’s positivity and it’s strength from afar. I also have to be a mom and be here for my son and I know Nick would want me to do that for Elvis."
A GoFundMe account recently set up by friends to help Kloots and Cordero cover medical bills and make their new home in Los Angeles wheelchair-accessible has raised over $400,000.