Even while Cordero battled extreme complications from the virus, Kloots posted positive updates on Instagram.

By Renee Cherry
July 07, 2020
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Amanda Kloots and Nick Cordero
Credit: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

If you've been following broadway star Nick Cordero's battle with COVID-19, then you know that it came to a sad end on Sunday morning. Cordero died at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he'd been hospitalized for over 90 days.

Cordero's wife, fitness instructor Amanda Kloots, shared the news on Instagram. "My darling husband passed away this morning," she wrote in the caption of a photo of Cordero. "He was surrounded in love by his family, singing and praying as he gently left this earth. I am in disbelief and hurting everywhere. My heart is broken as I cannot imagine our lives without him." (Related: Amanda Kloots Shared a Heartbreaking Tribute to Her Late Husband, Nick Cordero, Who Died from Coronavirus)

Throughout Cordero's fight, Kloots shared regular status updates on her Instagram. She first revealed he was sick with what was diagnosed as pneumonia on April 1, and Cordero was induced into a coma and put on a ventilator. Several days later, his COVID-19 tests results came back positive, though he initially tested negative twice. Cordero's doctors performed numerous interventions in response to a series of complications, including amputating Cordero's right leg. Kloots reported that Cordero woke up from the coma on May 12, but his health declined until ultimately he didn't survive the complications of his illness.

Despite going through what had to be a painful experience, Kloots had an overall positive and hopeful tone in all of her posts. She inspired thousands of strangers on the internet to pray for Cordero or sing and dance with her to Cordero's song "Live Your Life" during weekly Instagram Lives. A Gofundme page to support Kloots, Cordero, and their one-year-old Elvis raised over one million dollars. (Related: How I Beat Coronavirus While Fighting Metastatic Cancer for the Second Time)

Kloots explained her outlook in an update after Cordero woke up from his coma. "People may look at me like I'm crazy," she wrote. "They may think that I don't fully understand his condition because I'm smiling and singing in his room everyday. I'm just not going to mope around and feel sad for myself or him. That is not what Nick would want me to do. That is not my personality."

Even if positive thinking can't change a difficult situation, it can have a positive impact on your health. "Positive thinking can absolutely have an impact on mental health," says Heather Monroe, L.C.S.W., psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker at Newport Institute, a center for mental health issues. "When we have a positive outlook, we can better cope with difficult situations, helping to reduce feelings of stress, depression, and anxiety. Better coping skills ultimately promote resilience and help us to effectively cope with future traumas." That's not all. "Research has shown that positive thinking is beneficial beyond mental health—it can have physical health benefits as well," says Monroe. "In addition to decreasing feelings of anxiety and depression, positive thinking can promote greater resistance to some illnesses, shorten healing time, and improve cardiovascular health."

Caveat: that doesn't mean you should force positive thoughts 24/7 and trying to bury the bad. "There is such a thing as 'toxic positivity,' which is the act of portraying yourself as being in a happy, optimistic state across all situations, or forced positivity," says Monroe. "A positive outlook does not mean that you ignore life's problems or close yourself off to negative emotions, but rather approach those unpleasant scenarios in a more productive way."

If you know someone who's vocal about surrounding themselves with positive vibes, they might be onto something. "Emotions can be highly contagious. The more time that's spent consuming positive media or spending time with someone who thinks positively can shape that other person's outlook in a more positive way," says Monroe. "Positive people can often have a motivating, inspiring, and energizing effect on others as well." That seems to be the case for Kloots. Many people have posted about how her positivity throughout Cordero's health journey has inspired them to work through their own struggles with COVID and otherwise.

"I have been following @amandakloots for a while now- but even more so after her husband got diagnosed with COVID, which was just after my grandpa passed away from COVID," @hannabananahealth wrote in an Instagram post. "Her positivity and light even in the darkest of times inspired me beyond belief. I would constantly check my Instagram every day looking for Nick updates, even though I didn’t know either of them I understood in a way, and rooted for both of them so very much." (Related: This Method of Positive Thinking Can Make Sticking to Healthy Habits So Much Easier)

Instagram user @angybby wrote a post about why those following Cordero's story might feel inspired to stay positive during their own struggles, and how it impacted her personally as well. "I didn’t know Nick Cordero personally but, like many, I am mourning his death today," she wrote. "It was easy for me to pin the world’s fight with the virus on this one, passionate story. The way scientists all over the world are in a fight with the greater virus, the doctors at Cedars Sinai were fighting for this young man’s life...if they could save Nick the world could stop the virus."

In her post, she grappled with the idea of what we can take away from this tragic situation: "Because [Kloots] though unimaginable adversity, showed us what it's like to remain optimistic and spread love and positive thinking," she wrote. "Because her family showed us how to come together and support one another in times when it's much easier to be weary and defensive. Because if the hundreds of thousands of us following their story decide to be kinder to one another in their honor we might just make it out of these dark times in a better place."

Kloots sang "Live Your Life" one last time on an Instagram Live yesterday. But her story of staying positive and hopeful to the end has clearly left a mark.

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