After a visit to an urgent care was followed by trouble breathing, Kloots took her husband to the emergency room. While she assumed that she'd be back to pick him up within hours, that parking lot goodbye with their now 2-year-old son, Elvis, ended up being the last time she ever saw Cordero as himself.
Cordero was quickly admitted and sent to the ICU. The next night, he called his wife to tell her that he was going on a ventilator.
"'They have to put me in a medically induced coma so my body can rest. It should only be a few days, but I won’t be able to talk to you anymore after this call. I’m scared,' he said," Kloots recalls in her book. "'I’m scared, too, honey,' I whispered, trying not to wake up Elvis, 'but it will be okay. I’m sure what the doctors are saying is the right thing. I’ll take care of Elvis -- don’t worry about us. I love you,' I said. 'I love you, too.'"
"I didn’t understand the seriousness of that decision. Neither did Nick," she writes. "April 1 at four a.m. was the last time I heard my husband’s voice."
Months later, during one of Cordero's near-death nights in the hospital, a nurse told Kloots what happened after she'd gotten off the phone with her husband that night.
"Before going on the ventilator, Nick had talked about how much he loved Elvis and me," Kloots remembers being told. "He said Nick had even shown him pictures of us and told him about our new home in Laurel Canyon. 'He was afraid to go on the ventilator. Before he went under, he asked me, 'Will I see my wife and child again?'"
"That moment really felt like an angel appeared in the room... [Cordero's mom] Leslie and I were sitting by Nick and we were just kind of waiting the day away," Kloots told ET. "And in walks this nurse from nowhere. And he says that he was with Nick when they put him on the ventilator and he told me exactly what Nick had said. Leslie and I started crying and then he left and I never saw him again. It really was like an angel that came down and just wanted me to know or Nick wanted me to know what his last thoughts were before he went under."
As for what specifically the nurse said, Kloots thought her husband's final words were a perfect testament to who he was.
"Nick was such a soulful man. I mean, he was Latino. He just had so much pride for family and for what he owned. He was so proud to finally be living in California. He was so proud of his son. He was so proud that we were finally able to buy a home," she told ET. "... When [the nurse] told me that, I said, 'Yeah, that sounds like Nick. Of course he's going through the photos. One hundred percent."
While the moments before Cordero went on a ventilator were the last time he and Kloots were able to have a conversation, she said goodbye to him again and again throughout his 95 days in the hospital; once before his leg was amputated, and again each time doctors warned her that he may not make it through the night.
The last goodbye happened in July 2020, when she was told to come to the hospital as quickly as she could.
"The moment I walked into his room, I could tell something had changed," she writes. "The energy was different, and the row of machines on either side of his bed suddenly seemed to tower over his body. He was gray in color, and just lying there."
After a brief visit from baby Elvis, during which Kloots had her mother-in-law take a photo of her, her husband, and her son's hands gathered together, Kloots and Cordero's family decided to take him off of life support.
"I looked at Nick as though it was my first time walking into his room... He was not Nick anymore. There had been a time that he was. For a long time, he was there, and you could tell that he was fighting," Kloots writes. "But in these last couple of weeks, that had slowly changed. He was going, and I saw it that day. There wasn’t anything left of him...If he survived, the best-case scenario was that Nick would be on a ventilator for the rest of his life, a life he didn’t want. But we knew he would not survive."
Knowing that her husband was going to die, Kloots spent her final words expressing her love for him, promising to take care of their son, and assuring him that they'd live in the house they'd bought.
“I will miss you every single day. We will all miss you every day. It’s not fair that this happened to you; it’s not fair that we have to lose you. I don’t understand why this had to happen to you," she recalls telling him. "I tried everything I could to save you. I hope you felt that. I’m so sorry I couldn’t save you. Thank you for fighting so hard, Nick. I know you fought for so long to stay with us."
After saying her piece, Kloots "became hysterical" as her husband was taken off of life support and his death became imminent.
"There was no going back; I was going to lose him," she writes. "I was crying so hard I couldn’t see, or breathe, or stand. Without my family around me, I think I would have had a full-on panic attack. I kept apologizing to Nick, telling him I was so sorry as I sobbed through mask after mask."
Cordero made his presence known then, Kloots believes, by influencing the songs that played in his hospital room.
When the Moody Blues' "Nights in White Satin" came on, Kloots believed that her husband was telling her "that he loved me one last time." The Youngbloods' "Get Together" came on next, making it seem "as if Nick was using this song to thank us for coming together through this and becoming one united family instead of two separate ones."
"Nick couldn’t speak, but at this point I fully believed he was talking to us through the music. The songs were too poetic, too perfect to be random," she writes. "This song truly embodies who Nick was, his spirit, and what he believed in. It was him thanking us for coming together for him, and for one another. I didn’t know how he was doing it, but I knew Nick was curating this music."
As Cordero slipped away, the last song that played was Led Zeppelin's "Going to California," which Kloots found a lot of meaning in.
"Nick had wanted to come to California for that nice and simple life in Laurel Canyon. The lyrics read like a monologue: Nick’s last lines," she writes. "Toward the end of the song the tonality changes, and it sounds as if the words are actually coming from outside and above the vocalist’s own body as he sings, 'I think I might be sinking...' Finally, the song ends with a reverb-drenched voice in the background, singing, 'Ah, ah, ah, ah,' as if the vocalist is falling away slowly, until the music fades out completely. I had chills."
Despite Kloots' typically positive attitude, following Cordero's death, she wondered why he went through everything he had only to die in the end. With the help of one of her friends, Kloots came to believe that Cordero had held on until he knew that she, their son, and their families would be all right.
"I really, truly believe that by the time Nick passed, he knew that we were all going to be OK," she told ET. "… Our home was finally almost renovated. I had bonded with his mother, which was something that he always wanted and dreamed of... She had really bonded with Elvis, that was another thing Nick always wanted. Our two families got to spend so much time together that we will never, ever have again."
"These were all dreams that Nick has said that he wished that he would one day have that all happened because of this journey that we went on, because it was 95 days," she continued. "… He waited. He held, he fought. He fought so hard and I think he let go when he knew we were all OK."