You can always spend the extra time optimizing, never hurt to have a more effecient code
or do you know what died? If its the 8/16u2 you can still communicate if you can get a usb to serial converter or use an rs232 port
if its the atmega328 then you need a new one
if its a part on the board itself, perhaps it can me removed and replaced/jumped out
it is an atmega328.
after having it powered off for a few days, i plugged it into usb. it stayed on, led blinked twice. i hit reset led blinded twice again.
then power led faded away, and usb device went away. and atmega328 gets hot when pluggin into ext power supply. i can upload new code
until power led fades. the sketch runs as well. it gets hot enough to burn my finger and i think its shutting down because of thermal shutdown