Hoda Kotb has tearfully revealed that her three-year-old daughter Hope Catherine has spent several days in ICU with a “health issue” as the Today host made an emotional return to the morning show after a two-week absence.
The 58-year-old – who hasn’t appeared on the Today show since Feb. 17 – opened up about her daughter’s illness, telling her co-anchor Savannah Guthrie: “My youngest Hope was in ICU for a few days and then in the Hopital. for a little over a week.
“I’m so thankful she’s home, she’s home again. I waited for that day to come. And we keep a close eye on her. I’m so happy.’
Hoda then began to cry as she paid tribute to all the doctors and medical staff who took care of her daughter before thanking her family and friends for all their support during the difficult time.
Hoda Kotb made an emotional return to the Today show this morning, as she revealed her youngest daughter Hope, three, was in ICU with a ‘health problem’
The Today anchor teared up as she paid tribute to the doctors and nurses who cared for her daughter (left), revealing that her toddler had spent ‘just over a week’ in hospital
Hoda, 58 – who also has a six-year-old daughter, Haley (right) – has not revealed what illness her daughter suffered from
“And you know what I also realized? When your child is sick, how much gratitude can you have for people who helped you,” she explained.
“I’m thankful for the doctors at Weill Cornell who were amazing and the nurses and I’m thankful for my family and I’m thankful for friends like you who were there every day.
‘I want to thank you for that. I love you.’
Hoda’s return to the morning show comes more than two weeks after her last appearance in the studio – an absence that sparked serious concern from viewers until her co-host Craig Melvin revealed on Wednesday that she was dealing with a “family health issue.”
“Many of you have wondered how [Hoda] do. We can tell you that Hoda is fine. She’s got a family problem she’s dealing with,” said Craig Melvin.
Melvin, who was accompanied by Sheinelle Jones and Al Roker, shared no other information about the health issue or who was affected.
Hoda, who is also a mother to a six-year-old daughter, Haley Joy, first revealed she adopted Hope in April 2019 when she shared the joyful news of her growing family on Today.
‘It is a girl!’ the anchor told her co-hosts as she appeared on the show via video link.
“Oh my god guys, first of all she’s on the pillow now and I’m feeding her, and I can’t believe it!” she continued, as Savannah and Jenna Bush Hager dabbed their eyes with tissues.
She praised her family and friends who have supported her through this difficult time, choking as she thanked co-anchor Savannah Guthrie for “being there every day”
“I’m thankful for the doctors at Weill Cornell who were amazing and the nurses and I’m thankful for my family and I’m thankful for friends like you who were there every day,” Hoda said
“In your life you think you might have gotten what you deserve, but man I’m so glad she’s here,” Hoda continued through her tears.
The mother-of-two adopted her first daughter, Haley Joy, two years earlier, in February 2017.
Hoda was seen in public for the first time since leaving the morning show last week, when she picked up Haley Joy from school in New York City.
The mother-of-two was dressed in a cozy white puffer coat and knit hat while walking with her eldest child, who happily rode alongside her on her purple scooter.
Hoda was casually dressed in thin black slacks and black platform boots for the afternoon school run. Instead of a handbag, she carried a backpack over her shoulders and carried Haley’s cherry red LL Bean satchel in one hand.
The mother held a plastic sandwich bag of goldfish crackers and handed them out sweetly to Haley as she ran down the sidewalk.
The little girl looked adorable in a light gray North Face coat, star print pants and black Velcro high-top sneakers. She also wore her trademark red glasses and a colorful helmet with rainbows and stars.
Before Hoda picked up Haley, she was seen walking. She wore a cream knitted hat and glasses, which she rarely wears.
She later swapped her hat for a playful gray one with a pom-pom on it and “Chow Time” written in white on the front.
Last week, Hoda was spotted picking up her six-year-old daughter Haley from school — the first time she’s been seen in public since taking a break from the show
The mother of two walked alongside her eldest daughter, who was riding a purple scooter
Hoda’s last on-air appearance was on February 17, although she was featured on a pre-recorded episode of Today with Hoda and Jenna on February 20 along with her co-host.
People were also quick to notice that she hadn’t released an episode of her weekly podcast Making Space.
The mother-of-two continued to post inspirational quotes to her Instagram account in her absence, including one today from Superman star Christopher Reeve that read, “Once you choose hope, anything is possible.”
Last week, she shared a similar message saying, “One day you’ll see how brave you’ve been.”
She then shared another post that read, “There are dark clouds,” the boy said. “Yes, but they go on,” said the horse. “The blue sky above never goes away.”
A third message posted by Hoda over the weekend read: ‘To the strong women. May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.’
She also shared a drawing of a sky with clouds that read “Choose hope,” which she captioned with two heart emojis.
The Today star regularly shares inspirational quotes on her feed, and she’s published a collection of her favorites in her books I Really Need This Today and This Just Speaks to Me.
The past year has been a period of adjustment for Hoda, who split from her fiancé, Joel Schiffman, in January 2022 after eight years together.
She announced on the show that they were going their separate ways, explaining that they decided they were “better as friends and parents than as an engaged couple.”
Hoda last appeared on the Today show on Feb. 17 when she interviewed Olivia Newton-John’s widower and daughter (pictured)
The Today anchor didn’t have the easiest year last year, having split from her longtime partner and fiancé, Joel Schiffman (seen in 2019) in January 2022 after being together for nearly a decade.
Hoda insisted at the time that there was no bad blood between them and that they continue to co-parent their daughters together.
“Joel and I spent a lot of time praying and having meaningful conversations over the holidays, and we’ve decided that we’re better as friends and parents than as engaged couples,” she said at the time.
“So we’ve decided that we’re going to start this new year on our new path as loving parents to our adorably gorgeous children and as friends. It’s not like anything happened. They say relationships are sometimes meant to be there for a reason, a season or a lifetime. This was for a season.’
Hoda opened up about their breakup after Bush pointed out to Hager that she wasn’t wearing her engagement ring.
She admitted it felt “weird and uncomfortable” talking about it publicly, but added that she wanted to focus on the “joyful moments” they had together.
“Many women know what it feels like to change course in life. I feel like I can actually breathe in this moment, which is a strange feeling to feel. Sometimes in life you have to tell the truth,” she shared.
Prior to the couple’s split, Hoda was outspoken about her desire to adopt a third child one day – but she revealed in July 2021 that her plans to expand her brood had been put on hold due to the pandemic.
“You know what’s funny about the adoption thing going on right now, apparently it’s moving very slowly in this day and age, during COVID,” she said during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live, before admitting, “I thought it was a different game would be .’
Hoda went on to explain that she and Joel had been told by their adoption agency that the pandemic has prompted many people who would normally want to give up their babies to “hold” them instead.