The 41-year-old Broadway star (Waitress, A Bronx Tale and Rock of Ages) was hospitalized March 30 and later diagnosed with COVID-19, after multiple false negative tests. Kloots has described his treatment as a “roller coaster” during which Cordero, who’s still in the ICU, has had several surgeries, his leg amputated and countless setbacks. The actor and dancer is still weak, unable to speak and his muscles have atrophied, leading to his drastic weight drop. She says the “best-case scenario” would see Cordero in the hospital for “months” more — and then at least one year in a rehab facility.
Kloots, a former Broadway dancer and Rockette, answered questions from her Instagram followers Wednesday as she waited to be connected, via FaceTime, to Cordero at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in L.A. for their nightly call. (She’s been unable to visit in person due to coronavirus restrictions.) Asked if he has a discharge date, Kloots replied, “Oh, gosh guys, no. Unfortunately it could be months from now still — best-case scenario. We've got a long, long road ahead."
The fitness expert reiterated the continued seriousness of his condition when asked if she has plans to travel with her husband when he is released.
“After Nick gets out of the hospital — ’cause he is getting out of this hospital — he would go to a rehab center and probably be at a rehab center for a year before even coming home,” she said. “They say every week in the ICU [equals] a month in rehab.”
Kloots spoke about doctors proning Cordero two times to try to help him breathe as he remains on a ventilator. (He’s also had stem cell treatment.) One of the biggest concerns at this point is his inability to move.
“That’s what’s so heartbreaking: He is so weak. He’s so weak that he still can’t move and his muscles are definitely atrophying,” she said, which means decreasing in size due to immobility. “He’s lost 65 pounds.”
Kloots said the weight loss is muscle because he can’t move. He’s currently on a high-protein, high-calorie diet, “but he’s gotta move,” she said. “You can’t gain your muscle back until you move.”
His blood pressure is another huge concern. “It’s all over the place,” she said, noting they are trying to determine why so they can treat any potential infection causing it. She also said he just completed a “megadose of steroids” and he’s getting a transfusion. The “next goal is to get Nick’s blood pressure under control.” After resolving the BP issue, the next milestone would be to get him on intermittent dialysis.
Kloots also spoke about Cordero still being unable to talk due to the ventilator — and talked about how they communicate during their calls.
“He can’t speak, unfortunately,” she said. “He can’t even really move, you guys — that’s how weak he is. He looks up, he looks down. He looks left and right. And he answers yes and no questions — a ‘yes’ is looking up and ‘no’ looks down.”
She continued, “He doesn’t even blink, his eyes pretty much stay open. I’ll say: ‘Nick, can you hear my voice? Look up.’” And he will, “Or he’ll look down or he doesn’t do anything if he can’t hear me.”
Now that he’s out of a coma, he’s able to communicate with the medical staff to let them know his pain levels. He does the same thing by moving his eyes.
Kloots said the “amazing nurses at Cedars” set up the calls between the couple. Sometimes they are minutes and other times they put the phone on and Kloots just hangs up “when i’m ready.”
During their calls, she has told him that he had his leg amputated — and spoke about the great prosthetic options available. "It is hard when I'm talking to Nick to understand exactly what he's understanding," she admitted.
She’s hoping the coronavirus restrictions are lifted to allow for in person visits. “Obviously [they’re] needed and understandable, but, you know, let's hope that this can happen,” she said.
Kloots has been so inspirational during this crisis, staying positive and rallying people to sing along to Cordero’s song "Live Your Life" twice a day on social media. However, she admitted that she is “exhausted.” The couple’s son, Elvis, just turned 1 and the little boy took his first steps. Exciting milestones of course, but not the same without her husband there.
She was also asked about Cordero’s medical bills and she said they were covered by the government through June 15 — and beyond that he has good insurance. She was also asked about their GoFundMe page, which has raised almost $575,000 since was started in mid-April.
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