Nick Cordero’s path to recovery could potentially include a double lung transplant.
The Broadway star’s wife, Amanda Kloots, spoke to CBS This Morning about his recovery process — more than 90 days after he wars first hospitalized with the coronavirus. While he’s still critically ill and “extremely weak,” having gone through multiple surgeries, had a leg amputated and lost 65 pounds, the former dancer spoke about his medical goals, which could take years to fully realize.
“In a perfect world, because we are hoping for a perfect world, our ultimate, ultimate goal would to be: get him to be a candidate for a double lung transplant,” Kloots told Gayle King. “We think that that is most likely the possibility. A 99 percent chance that he would be needing that in order to live the kind of life that I know my husband would want to live.“
But, the former Radio City Rockette and Broadway dancer allowed, “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.” Right now, they’re still in what she calls “the ICU dance” and “the vicious circle” because “you just feel like you’re in this momentum of going around, around, around like a hamster wheel. And I just want to get us out of the hamster wheel.”
While recently doing an Instagram Q&A, Kloots said that Cordero — who’s dealing with a litany of issues on a daily basis, including fluctuating blood pressure, and is still on a ventilator after coming out of a coma — could be in the hospital for “months” more, presumably longer with a transplant, followed by at least one year in a rehab facility.
At that point, she said a lung transplant — in the news because a 20-something woman battling COVID-19 had one — couldn’t happen because he’s too weak. She spoke about his weight loss, due to muscles atrophying, and reminded that he still can’t speak, only moving his eyes to answer questions.
Kloots told King that Cordero is currently “OK” and “stable,” but his body remains “extremely weak” and he “can’t move his body yet.” Though he can “open his eyes, and when he is alert and awake, he’ll answer commands by looking up or down [to] yes or no questions. When I’m asking him, he will even try to smile or move his jaw. The nurses have all said that he answers my questions the best.”
Kloots, who shares a 1-year-old son with the Broadway talent, also spoke about being able to visit Cordero in the I.C.U. — a new development as he no longer is positive for COVID-19 and restrictions have eased a bit.
“I tell him, I say, ‘You’re going to walk out of this hospital, honey. I believe it, I know you can,’” Kloots said. “I just feel like when I’m in that room with him … I have to stay determined.”
And she now goes to the hospital “every day.” Talking about a photo she shared of their hands clasped together, Kloots added, “I’m waiting for the day that he holds my hand back.”
Throughout this journey, Kloots has been told “four times that he won’t survive,” she told King. “But he has. He has.” She said she believes, “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.”
And for now, “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,” she said. “I tell him every day before I leave, I say, “OK, here’s what you have to focus on. The two of us sitting in our new house … [Our son] Elvis is in bed and we’re listening to ‘Our House.’”
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