Zach Braff is looking back on the final days of Nick Cordero‘s life before the Broadway star ultimately passed away due to complications from the novel coronavirus on Sunday.
The Scrubs alum dedicated the latest episode of his Fake Doctors, Real Friends podcast to the 41-year-old beloved actor with whom he shared a close friendship, and revealed some truly heartbreaking details about Cordero’s final days before his death.
For starters, Amanda Kloots‘ husband technically did not have COVID-19 still present in his system throughout his entire three-month-long hospital stay.
Speaking to co-host Donald Faison and all of their listeners, Braff explained:
“Just for clarity’s sake, he didn’t have COVID-19 anymore. What COVID did to Nick is what it does to a lot of people, it comes in and wreaks havoc on your body. Then it leaves and you don’t have it anymore, but you’re left with what the doctors called ‘lungs that look like Swiss cheese.’”
He went on to share that he was hosting Cordero’s wife and her infant son, Elvis, in his El Lay home during the extended hospital stay. The gesture was a no-brainer for the Zach, who met the Canadian stage actor while working together on Bullets Over Broadway in 2014.
Although “she was never able to see him fully conscious again,” Braff praised Kloots for her unbreakable positivity on social media and IRL over the last 90+ days. Due to social distancing protocols, Braff and his girlfriend, Florence Pugh, were unable to physically comfort Nick’s wife when she needed it most:
“We would literally stand 10 feet away from her and watch our friend sobbing. Can you imagine how tragic this is? Your partner’s in the hospital, you can’t even be there? You can’t be by their side, you can’t hug them, you can’t kiss them, you can’t cheer them on. You have to do it over a FaceTime that a generous nurse has arranged.”
Wow. And now, we’re sobbing…
As we reported, Cordero faced a number of different complications from his coronavirus diagnosis, which resulted in an amputated leg, a 65-lb weight loss, minor blood infections, damaged lungs, and a temporary pacemaker. Not to mention, he was in a medically induced coma throughout most of the aforementioned health battles.
Things got so bleak at one point that doctors told Nick’s family to say their goodbyes and by the end of his life, “his blood pressure wasn’t strong enough,” meaning he would have had to lose his fingers and toes “had he lived.” How devastating. His quality of life would absolutely not be the same.
While there were moments of hope, Braff said that his dear pal “never came back” fully amid his health journey:
“He just deteriorated, deteriorated, deteriorated, until the point where they put him on the ventilator and then he never came back. He kind of woke up for a little bit and there was some exciting moments where they would say, ‘Nick if you can hear us look up,’ and he would do that, but he wouldn’t do it all the time. It was only occasionally.”
In addition to touching on the “great memories” the pair shared during their Broadway days, Braff discussed the final text message Nick sent him about taking care of his family should they ever need anything. On his plans to honor on that promise for baby Elvis, he said:
“We’re all going to be doing our part to give this child an extraordinary life. I promise that I’m going to do that for the rest of my life and I want to make him proud.”
The duo ended the podcast by playing Live Your Life, Cordero’s original song that Kloots encouraged fans share to spread positivity and hope. With an earnest plea for listeners to take COVID-19 seriously, he shared:
“Nick’s the ultimate example of it’s a roll of the dice. You could get a flu-like cold if you get it, you could also have a really tragic end to your life or even worse, perhaps give it to somebody else that you care about. Donald and I are in the unique position that we just had a front-row seat to how horrible this was, so please think twice about wearing a mask.”
If you’re interested in listening to the tribute episode in full, you can check it out (HERE). We continue to keep Amanda, baby Elvis, and all of their loved ones in our thoughts. R.I.P., Nick.
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