While many celebrities have been diagnosed with COVID-19, few cases have been as severe as that of Broadway star Nick Cordero, who despite his relatively young age and fitness, has suffered numerous complications after falling ill. Although he still has a long road to recovery, he reached a major milestone on that path, having emerged from a month-long medically induced coma.
The severity of his illness has led many to wonder whether Nick Cordero has underlying health issues contributing to his condition. However, it appears he is an example of how unpredictable and serious this virus is, even to previously healthy people.
Did Nick Cordero have underlying health issues before contracting COVID-19?
It makes sense why people would want to know if Cordero had underlying health issues. The thought of a robust, 41-year-old new father fighting for his life as a result of COVID-19 complications is very scary, and people likely want some evidence that what happened to Nick could not happen to them.
However, Nick's struggle — which led to multiple complications that required doctors to amputate his right leg — seems to have occurred despite a lack of the pre-existing conditions present in many of the most severe and fatal cases.
His wife, Amanda Kloots, who has been updating the public on Nick's condition since he fell ill, says he had no health issues before falling ill in late March. These facts are one reason she has been so public about the numerous complications he has suffered since being admitted to the hospital.
Why did Nick Cordero have his leg amputated?
One of those life-threatening complications Nick suffered is blood clotting, which doctors tried to combat with blood thinners. Unfortunately, that treatment caused internal bleeding and ultimately the lack of blood flow to his lower right leg necessitated amputation.
Nick has had additional complications including septic shock and severe damage to his lungs. But the good news is that as he emerges from his coma, the Waitress star is showing positive signs that he may have escaped severe brain damage.
Though he is not out of the woods and still has a lung infection on top of the damage the virus has wrought on his respiratory system, his wife and family are hopeful that he is turning the corner.
Nobody knows for sure why some otherwise healthy people like Nick react so severely to this virus. Researchers have only known of this novel coronavirus since late 2019, so studies of its effects on different populations are still ongoing. However, there are some theories. One avenue of research may involve sequencing the genomes of young patients who did not have underlying health conditions to determine whether they have genetic markers in common that may have led to their severe reactions.
Another theory is that for some young patients, the severity of the reaction could be due not to a suppressed immune system but a hyper-reactive one.
The phenomenon is called a "cytokine storm" because it is caused when the cytokine proteins that are part of the immune system cause an overreaction to an unfamiliar pathogen, such as a virus. But in its fight to suppress the foreign invader, the immune system also attacks the lungs, which might lead to the severe damage doctors have been seeing on scans, as well as the acute respiratory distress, clotting, and other issues.