Zach Braff is reflecting on Nick Cordero's final days before his death. The former Scrubs star -- who was close friends with the Broadway actor and his family -- opened up about Cordero's health struggles in the latest episode of his podcast, released Tuesday.
"For clarity’s sake, he didn’t have COVID-19 anymore. But what COVID did to Nick is what it does to a lot of people, it comes in and wreaks havoc on your body," Braff shared with friend and co-host Donald Faison, during the most recent episode of Fake Doctors, Real Friends. "Then it leaves and you don’t have it anymore, but you’re left with what the doctors called ‘lungs that look like Swiss cheese.'"
It's because of this that Cordero was in need of a double lung transplant, "And you only get those if you're healthy in all other ways," Braff added.
Cordero was first hospitalized back in March when he was first diagnosed with COVID-19. Cordero fought the disease and resulting complications for 95 days in the ICU, during which he was in a medically induced coma, had his leg amputated, lost 65 pounds, had to go on dialysis, needed a pacemaker and was on a ventilator.
Ultimately, Braff said, it was the machines that were keeping him alive.
"He just deteriorated, deteriorated, deteriorated, until the point where they put him on the ventilator and then he never came back," Braff recalled. "He would kind of wake 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."
Due to Cordero's condition and coronavirus concerns, Kloots was unable to be by her husband's side physically in the hospital, and Braff lamented the emotional toll that took on her.
"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," Braff reflected. "You have to do it over a FaceTime that a generous nurse has arranged."
Shortly after Cordero's death on Sunday, at the age of 41, Braff -- who met the late actor while co-starring in a production of Bullets Over Broadway in 2014 -- said that Cordero asked him to "look out for" his wife and son should something happen to him. Braff vowed that they "will never want for anything."
On Tuesday, Braff reiterated this promise, and said he and others in the family's life will do everything to help -- especially when it comes to Cordero's son.
"There's so many people that love Amanda and Elvis, and we're all going to be doing our part to help give this child an extraordinary life," Braff said. "He just started walking, and he's just the cutest kid ever. He's so cute."
For more on Cordero's life and bond with his wife, see the video below.