Zach Braff is in mourning.
On Sunday, the “Scrubs” star’s close friend Broadway actor Nick Cordero passed away after a months-long battle with COVID-19.
Braff and Donald Faison opened the latest episode of their podcast “Fake Doctors, Real Friends” by remembering Cordero.
The actor explained that in his last days, Cordero “didn’t have COVID anymore,” but by that point the illness had taken too hard a toll on his body.
Doctors described Cordero’s lungs as looking like “Swiss cheese,” as though “he’d been a heavy smoker his entire life.”
“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 said. “So the machines were really truly keeping him alive.
“His blood pressure wasn’t strong enough so the tips of all his fingers and toes were blackening and they would have had to have been removed had he lived.”
Due to blood clots caused by the disease, Cordero had to have his leg amputated, was placed on dialysis and needed a pacemaker.
Braff also shared the devastating fact that Cordero’s wife Amanda Kloots wasn’t able to visit him in the hospital due to social distancing.
“Can you imagine how tragic this is, your partner’s in the hospital, you can’t even be there?” he said. “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 FaceTime that a generous nurse has arranged.”
Kloots stayed with Braff and girlfriend Florence Pugh during the ordeal, though she stayed in a guest home to maintain distancing.
“This is how f**king tragic it was — she would be 10 feet away from us, Florence and I, and sobbing, and we couldn’t go hug her. We would literally stand 10 feet away from her and watch our friend sobbing,” he said.
“He just deteriorated, deteriorated, deteriorated, until the point where they put them on the ventilator and then he never came back,” Braff added. “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.”
Remembering how they became friends while co-starring in the 2014 play “Bullets Over Broadway”, Braff shared, “We just bonded, man. When you do a Broadway show, you do a play, you can’t sleep. After the show, your adrenalin is pumped … so we would all go out and hang out, and we’d all party in Manhattan and end up at my place late night, and just had so many great memories together.”