As we continue to navigate the phases of reopening, it’s important to remember why we’re doing all of this in the first place. Around the world, doctors are still bravely fighting this virus day after day, and people are still dying. This week, Broadway star Nick Cordero tragically lost a months-long battle with coronavirus, and it’s just really heartbreaking.
Nick Cordero was 41 years old, and he was in good health before contracting COVID-19 in March. His symptoms quickly escalated, and he was admitted to the hospital on March 30th, where he was declared in critical condition and put on a ventilator. Over the next three months, Nick experienced many complications from the disease, remaining unconscious for several weeks and even having his right leg amputated. Throughout his battle, Nick’s wife Amanda Kloots, a successful entrepreneur in the fitness industry, gave daily updates on Instagram, gaining support from all over the world as thousands cheered Nick on.
Throughout this ordeal, Amanda remained relentlessly positive, sharing the reality of Nick’s condition, but always keeping her head up, especially for her and Nick’s one-year-old son Elvis. For Amanda, Nick’s song “Live Your Life” became an uplifting anthem during his time in the hospital, and each day at 3pm, she led a singalong on Instagram. Many people joined in, posting videos of them singing and dancing to the song and sending their support to Nick.
Sadly, Nick’s lungs were irreversibly damaged by the virus, and he ultimately lost his battle on Sunday, after spending 95 days in the hospital. Amanda announced the news of his passing with an extremely emotional Instagram post, thanking Nick’s doctor, as well as thanking everyone for the love and support.
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God has another angel in heaven now. My darling husband passed away this morning. He was surrounded in love by his family, singing and praying as he gently left this earth. ⠀ I am in disbelief and hurting everywhere. My heart is broken as I cannot imagine our lives without him. Nick was such a bright light. He was everyone’s friend, loved to listen, help and especially talk. He was an incredible actor and musician. He loved his family and loved being a father and husband. Elvis and I will miss him in everything we do, everyday. ⠀ To Nicks extraordinary doctor, Dr. David Ng, you were my positive doctor! There are not many doctors like you. Kind, smart, compassionate, assertive and always eager to listen to my crazy ideas or call yet another doctor for me for a second opinion. You’re a diamond in the rough. ⠀ ⠀ I cannot begin to thank everyone enough for the outpour of love , support and help we’ve received these last 95 days. You have no idea how much you lifted my spirits at 3pm everyday as the world sang Nicks song, Live Your Life. We sang it to him today, holding his hands. As I sang the last line to him, “they’ll give you hell but don’t you light them kill your light not without a fight. Live your life,” I smiled because he definitely put up a fight. I will love you forever and always my sweet man. ❤️
Amanda and Elvis have received an outpouring of support on social media this week, with the fitness and Broadway communities coming together to honor Nick’s life. Zach Braff, who became best friends with Nick after they starred in Bullets Over Broadway together, paid tribute to his friend with two heartbreaking posts. Nick and Amanda moved to LA last fall, and had been staying in Braff’s guest house while looking for a home, so he’s been by Amanda’s side throughout this whole process.
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Nick Cordero passed at 11:40am today with his wife and mother by his side. I have honestly never known a kinder person. But Covid doesn’t care about the purity of your soul, or the goodness in your heart. The last thing he ever texted me was to look out for his wife and one year old son, Elvis. I promise the world they will never want for anything. I feel so incredibly grateful I got to have Nick Cordero enter my life. Rest In Peace. Rest in Power.
In a tweet, Lin-Manuel Miranda called the news “devastating,” saying that his whole heart was with Amanda and the rest of Nick’s family. In response, Zach Braff posted this picture of him and Nick with Lin, saying that “he loved you.”
He loved you, sir. pic.twitter.com/OtxGB4yYm3
— Zach Braff (@zachbraff) July 6, 2020
In addition to the heartfelt messages, Nick’s friends and loved ones are taking major actions to support his family and honor his legacy. A GoFundMe page was created in April to help with medical costs and other expenses, and has now been converted to a memorial fund for Amanda and Elvis. The page has raised nearly a million dollars, and the feed is full of beautiful photos and messages dedicated to Nick’s memory.
In addition to raising money, the theatre community is petitioning to rename a Broadway theatre in Nick Cordero’s honor. In 2016, Nick starred in the musical version of A Bronx Tale, which ran for nearly two years at the Longacre Theater. The show became the longest running musical at the Longacre, and the petition to rename it the Nick Cordero Theater has received nearly 30,000 signatures. In the Broadway community, having a theater named after you is one of the highest honors you can receive, and many feel it would be a perfect way to commemorate Nick’s life.
On Monday, Amanda Kloots went live on Instagram to sing “Live Your Life” one last time, telling thousands of viewers that “3pm will always remind me of Nick now.” With so many people sending her love and support, Nick won’t soon be forgotten, and his story is a powerful reminder that coronavirus isn’t to be taken lightly.
Images: Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com; amandakloots, zachbraff / Instagram lin_manuel / Twitter