Richard Engel, a correspondent for NBC News, recently shared the tragic news that his 6-year-old son, Henry, had passed away shortly before his seventh birthday. Angel tweeted, “Our beloved son Henry has died.” He added, “We always surrounded him with love and he gave it back and so much more.”
According to NBC News, Henry was previously diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Rett Syndrome, which affects about 1 in 10,000 people and is more common in girls. According to the Mayo Clinic, Rett syndrome affects human brain development and negatively impacts a person’s motor skills. Communication and coordination problems can also arise. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure or treatment for the disorder, although possible treatments are being researched and studied.
Engel has been keeping fans updated on Henry’s journey since he was diagnosed with the disorder in 2017. In May he has tweeted that his son’s health had “deteriorated” and explained that Henry was in the hospital for six weeks. Many are now mourning the tragic death of Engel’s son, including NBC’s Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie.
Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie pay emotional tribute to Henry Engel
NBC News correspondent Richard Engel and his wife Mary Forrest announced the tragic news that their firstborn son, Henry, had died when he was only six years old. Hoda Kotb spoke about the tragedy on the Today show and offered her condolences to the family before leaving viewers with an emotional message. “So many people who watch our show see Richard standing in a very dangerous place and covering something, not knowing that he fought the biggest fight at home,” Kotb said (via Entertainment Tonight).
Kotb’s co-host Savannah Guthrie also shared an emotional tribute to Engel’s son Henry on Instagram. “Dearest Richard and Mary, you were great warriors for Henry – you poured your love and care into him and fought for him every day with everything you have,” Guthrie wrote. “My dear Henry, you will be missed. I will always remember the sparkle in your eyes.” She also called his parents her “heroes” and urged her supporters to consider donating to Rett Syndrome research in Henry’s name and memory.
The founding director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, Dr. Huda Zoghbi, paid tribute to Henry on the Institute’s website. “We will continue to be as committed to developing treatments as we can. That’s how we will honor his life,” Zoghbi said. Henry also got to know the institute that researches the treatment of Rett syndrome in recent years.