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Nick Cordero will likely need a double lung transplant to live the life he "would want," wife Amanda Kloots says

Broadway actor Nick Cordero is still fighting for his life after being diagnosed with the coronavirus. He's been hospitalized in Los Angeles for three months.

His wife, Amanda Kloots, said he's still critically ill, even though he's now COVID-negative and no longer in a coma. The Tony nominee had to have his leg amputated due to complications from the virus.

Kloots told "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King that the "ultimate goal" is for Cordero to get a double lung transplant, but "a lot of things would have to line up" for him to be a candidate.

Read more of their conversation below. 

Amanda Kloots: He is doing okay. He's stable. Nick's body is extremely weak. Muscles have atrophied, so he can't move his body yet. ... He can still open his eyes, and when he is alert and awake, he'll answer commands by looking up or down, yes or no questions. When I'm asking him, he will even try to smile or move his jaw. The nurses have all said that he answers my questions the best. 

Gayle King: The last time we talked, you called it a really bumpy roller coaster ride. How do you describe it now?

Kloots: I call it the vicious circle or the ICU dance because you just feel like you're in this momentum of going around, around, around like a hamster wheel. And I just want to get us out of the hamster wheel.

King: Yeah. What do you think Nick understands about what has happened or is happening to him?

Kloots: That is really hard to — to try to gauge — unfortunately. ... We have told him sort of a very blanket statement of kind of what has happened. Just because we don't really know what he understands just yet. 

King: Do you think he knows that his leg has been amputated?

Kloots: I have told him that. 

King: Oh, you told him?

Kloots: I did. I told him ... and I told him how there's amazing prosthetics. And I told him that I've been talking to amputees ... and to try to give him encouragement.

King: What exactly needs to happen that we know that Nick is making progress, on the way to recovery?

Kloots: In a perfect world — because we are hoping for a perfect world —

King: Yeah, me too.

Kloots: Our ultimate, ultimate goal would to be — get him to be a candidate for a double lung transplant.

King: Oh, he's going to need a double lung transplant, you're saying?

Kloots: We think that that is most likely the possibility. A 99% chance that he would be needing that in order to live the kind of life that I know my husband would want to live. … That is a long road away and a lot of things would have to line up in order for Nick to be a candidate for that.

Amanda Kloots on visiting Nick Cordero in ICU 01:05

King: There has to be a positive outcome, you believe, on the other side.

Kloots: There has to be. And I tell him, I say, "You're going to walk out of this hospital, honey. I believe it, I know you can. ... We're going to dance again. You're going to hold your son again." … My line is, "Don't get lost, get focused."

King: Despite everything you've been through, and you've been through a lot, you are not defeated.

Kloots: I just feel like when I'm in that room with him and then when I come home, don't get me wrong, I have my days, but I have to stay determined.

King: On your moments when it's tough for you, how do you get through that?

Kloots: Well, luckily, I have amazing support right now. I'm living with my family and, you know, I came home the other day really feeling, you know, just kind of exhausted and sad. And I let it out. I screamed and I cried in front of my parents. … You have to have those days. You have to break down. That's only natural. You know, I am a strong person, but even strong people break. And that's okay. You have to break down so that you can build yourself up again.

King: I was wondering, Amanda, if you've ever gone there ... have doctors told you, "Amanda, it's time to let him go?" Have they ever said that to you?

Kloots: They told me four times that he won't survive. Sometimes even he won't survive through the night, but he has. He has. ... I believe, Gayle, that God is the only person that's going to decide when and if my husband goes. So I will never try to play that role. ... He's fighting. I see it every day. Nick's doctor sees it. And as long as he's in there and fighting, I'll continue to fight with him. ... I tell him every day before I leave, I say, "Okay, here's what you have to focus on. The two of us sitting in our new house, ... Elvis is in bed and we're listening to 'Our House' in our, you know, home in Laurel Canyon."

King: Oh I love that picture. I love to picture that. "Our House," the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young "Our House"? ... Amanda, sing it. I love that song. I love it.

Kloots: It says, "Staring at the fire for hours and hours while I listen to you play your love songs all night long for me."

King: What perfect lyrics for your life, what you're going through now.

Kloots: I know. 

King: How often do you get to see him now?

Kloots: I go every day.

King: You posted a picture of your hands clasped together.

Kloots: You know, there's so many cords everywhere. You know, I just want to jump in his bed and hug him and grab him and squeeze him. But, you know, you have to be very careful with everything that's going on, so I grab his hand … and I'm waiting for the day that he holds my hand back.

A GoFundMe has been set up to support Cordero and his family. 

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