Hamilton actor Nick Cordero’s month-long battle with coronavirus has led to a tracheostomy, according to his wife’s social-media accounts.
On Sunday, Amanda Kloots updated followers about her unconscious, Tony Award-nominated husband’s health status via Instagram Stories, including referring to the procedure, in which an opening is created in a patient’s neck to insert a tube into the windpipe to ease breathing.
“Yesterday was just basically a day of just adjusting to the trach and seeing how he was doing with it and just levelling out these settings,” Kloots said, adding that he is recovering.
“His vent settings are down, which is good. That’s a really great sign, that his breathing is going well. And the feeding tube that they put in, he’s getting some nutrition, they’re seeing benefits of that which is great … I’m just hoping for another kind of day of rest and recovery for Nick. I think the more days that he has of this will help his brain to wake up.”
The health of Cordero, a 41-year-old Broadway veteran who has been hospitalized for a month, had faced a troubling new challenge last week, as doctors beginning to treat two new infections in his chest discovered holes in his lungs.
“Due to COVID, Nick’s lungs are severely damaged,” Kloots said in an Instagram post. “They look almost like he’s been a smoker for 50 years.”
For a short while, things had seemed headed in a somewhat positive direction. A third test for coronavirus had come back negative last week, which meant the virus had finally cleared his system. Then the lung holes were found.
“It’s almost like we can’t catch a break over here,” Kloots said.
Cordero had fallen ill after returning to New York from their new Los Angeles home late in March. The original diagnosis was pneumonia and two COVID-19 tests came back negative. But a third said he had the virus. By this time, the Westdale Secondary grad was unconscious in the intensive care ward at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in L.A.
The list of issues he has faced since then has been long. Several weeks ago his blood pressure dropped, his heart stopped and he had to be resuscitated. He was put on a machine to do the work of his heart and lungs but that led to a clot in his leg that kept blood from getting to his foot.
Medication to thin his blood and allow for better flow caused his blood pressure to drop dangerously low again, so it was stopped to save his life. But that cost him his right leg, which was amputated just above the knee.
The sedation that had kept him in an induced coma was reduced, but he didn’t wake up. MRI exams and CT scans found no medical reason he couldn’t but he remains unconscious.
His wife has said at that certain moment she has been “super terrified” but she insists she’s not giving up hope.
It’s the same with his mother, Lesley. She still lives in Hamilton and must follow developments from home since she can’t get to California under the current travel restrictions. She, too remains optimistic and upbeat.
“It’s going to be a long haul, but I know he is going to survive this,” she says.
What’s truly blown her away is the worldwide response to her son’s illness.
A GoFundMe page for Cordero has now raised $ 465,000 U.S. Every day at 6 p.m., people all over the planet — including Broadway casts, radio station hosts and E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt on his SiriusXM channel — are playing his song “Live Your Life,” dancing along to it as a show of support and posting video of their efforts on social media.
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On Thursday, Kloots was interviewed on “CBS This Morning” to talk about the situation. She says she’s expecting a miracle to happen because so many people have let her know about theirs.
“I’m not giving up hope,” she says. “I am not giving up hope.”