Zach Braff Recalls Friend Nick Cordero's Final Days: 'He Just Deteriorated'

By Hayden Brooks

July 8, 2020

Zach Braff is mourning the loss of his friend Nick Cordero, who passed away from a lengthy battle with COVID-19 complications.

Speaking on his "Fake Doctors, Real Friends" podcast, alongside co-host Donald Faison, the Scrubs alum, 45, admitted that Cordero "didn't have COVID anymore" in his final days, but the respiratory illness had already impacted the Broadway star’s body. "Even to live he would’ve needed a full double-lung transplant and you only get those if you’re healthy in all other ways," Braff told listeners. “So the machines were really truly keeping him alive."

If you’ve been following the story, you know that Cordero was in the hospital for more than three months. Braff and Cordero were close friends, who worked on the stage production, Bullet Over Broadway, in 2014. Because of that, the actor took in Cordero’s wife, Amanda Kloots, 38, and their 1-year-old son, Elvis, as they watched Cordero fight for his life.

"We would literally stand 10 feet away from her and watch our friend sobbing," Braff said of watching Kloots alongside his girlfriend Florence Pugh. "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."

Braff went on to recall seeing Cordero deteriorate as remained hospitalized at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "He just deteriorated, deteriorated, deteriorated, until the point where they put him on the ventilator and then he never came back," he remembered. "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."

Photo: Getty Images

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