On Sunday, at 38 years old, Amanda Kloots, the mother of a one-year-old son, became a widow.
Her husband, the Canadian-born Broadway actor Nick Cordero, died over the weekend at age 41. He got sick in late March and tested positive for COVID-19 in April.
At the time of death, he had recovered from the virus, but was dealing with a host of post-COVID complications. He was hospitalized for 95 days, during which time he went through a leg amputation, a medically-induced coma, weight loss, septic shock, two “mini strokes,” kidney dialysis, and the insertion of a temporary pacemaker. Before Cordero contracted the virus he was in good shape and didn’t have any underlying health conditions, Kloots said.
The couple’s son, Elvis, was born last June, after Kloots went through a 52-hour labour. By the time doctors starting performing a C-section, she was exhausted. But when the baby finally emerged, crying, Cordero told her to treasure the sound.
“They pulled Elvis out and he starts crying and Nick says, ‘Honey listen to our baby cry,’” Kloots said in an Instagram story. ”‘That cry will never sound as sweet as it does right now.’”
In May, when Cordero was in the hospital, Kloots said she recorded Elvis crying to play for her husband. She would film videos for him every day, she wrote on Instagram, “so that when he wakes up, he can watch them and feel like he’s been with Elvis and I.”
Because of COVID-19 restrictions at the hospital where he was being treated, she wasn’t able to see him for 79 days, but when he was lucid enough, they were able to communicate on FaceTime.
She had hoped Cordero would be out of the hospital by Elvis’s first birthday on June 10. But when he wasn’t, Kloots threw a birthday party on her own. Friends and family drove by with signs and balloons wishing the toddler a happy birthday, and she and Cordero sang to their son, via FaceTime.
“My husband was a very special man. He was everyone’s friend,” Kloots, an actor and fitness instructor. told People. “We taught each other things, challenging each other to grow. We loved to sing and dance wherever we were. Just looking at him doing the simplest things would bring a smile to my face.”
She said Cordero was a loving and affectionate spouse.
“As a husband I don’t think a day went by that he didn’t say to me, ‘I’m the luckiest.’ Words can’t describe how much I will miss him, his presence, his voice. I’m heartbroken.”
During Cordero’s hospitalization, Kloots had been sharing updates about his health and posting singalongs on Instagram Live, which she encouraged fans to join.
“You have no idea how much you lifted my spirits at 3pm everyday as the world sang Nick’s song, ‘Live Your Life,’” she wrote on Instagram on Monday, after announcing her husband’s death.
She said she sang the song, an original of his, to her husband before he died. Both she and his mother were in his room when he passed.
“As I sang the last line to him, ‘They’ll give you hell but don’t you let them kill your light / Not without a fight / Live your life,’ I smiled because he definitely put up a fight,” Kloots wrote. “I will love you forever and always my sweet man.”
Kloots and her son Elvis are currently staying with family friend Zach Braff, who has a guest house.
“We obviously stay social distanced from them, but we bring them food and wine and flowers,” Braff told E! News before Cordero’s death. “There’s just a non-stop stream of people dropping things off.”
It was exceedingly hard not to be able to comfort Kloots with a hug, Braff said on his podcast. “This is how f―king tragic it was: [Amanda] would be 10 feet away from us...sobbing. And we couldn’t go hug her. We would literally stand 10 feet away from her and watch our friend sobbing.”
Braff said on Instagram that the last text Cordero sent him asked him to look out for his wife and son.
“I have honestly never known a kinder person,” he wrote under a picture of Kloots and Coredero. “But Covid doesn’t care about the purity of your soul, or the goodness in your heart.”
Cordero’s social media accounts are full of photos of his wife and son, and references to how special they are to him.
In a photo of last spring, of a heavily pregnant Kloots on a beach, he wrote “What a view.” Beneath a photo of a newborn Elvis, he wrote “Long live the King.” Last year at Christmas, he captioned a photo of his family with “We have so much to be thankful for this year.”
Another, of Kloots holding both their baby and a phone, is simply captioned “boss.”
His last Instagram post, from March, was also a tribute to Kloots on her birthday. He posted a photo of her in front a cake, with Elvis on her lap.
“These days I’m counting my blessings,” he wrote. “This one is top of the list.”
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