Hoda Kotb tears up as she reveals her three-year-old daughter Hope was in the ICU
Hoda Kotb has tearfully revealed that her three-year-old daughter Hope Catherine spent several days in the ICU battling a ‘health issue’ as the Today host made an emotional return to the morning show following a two-week absence.
The 58-year-old – who has not appeared on the Today show since February 17 – opened up about her daughter’s illness, telling her co-anchor Savannah Guthrie: ‘My youngest Hope was in the ICU for a few days and then the hospital for a little more than a week.
‘I’m so grateful she is home, she is back home. I was waiting for that day to come. And we are watching her closely. I’m just so happy.’
Hoda then began to tear up as she paid tribute to all of the doctors and medical staff who took care of her daughter, before thanking her family and friends for all of their support during the difficult time.
Hoda Kotb made an emotional return to the Today show this morning, when she revealed that her youngest daughter Hope, three, has been in the ICU battling a ‘health issue’
The Today anchor teared up as she paid tribute to the doctors and nurses who cared for her daughter (left), revealing her toddler spent ‘a little more than a week’ in the hospital
Hoda, 58 – who also has a six-year-old daughter, Haley (right) – did not reveal what illness her daughter had been battling
‘And you know what I realized too? When your child is ill, the amount of gratitude you can have for people who have helped you out,’ she explained.
‘I’m grateful for the doctors at Weill Cornell who were amazing and the nurses and I’m grateful to my family and I’m grateful to friends like you who were there every single day.
‘I want to say 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 among viewers until her co-host Craig Melvin revealed on Wednesday that she had been dealing with a ‘family health matter’.
‘A lot of you have been wondering how [Hoda] is doing. We can tell you that Hoda is OK. She’s got a family health matter that she’s been dealing with,’ Craig Melvin said.
Melvin, who was joined by Sheinelle Jones and Al Roker, did not share any other information about the health matter or who was affected.
Hoda, who is also mother to a six-year-old daughter, Haley Joy, first revealed that she had adopted Hope back in April 2019, when she shared the joyful news about her growing family on Today.
‘It’s a girl!’ the anchor told her co-hosts while appearing on the show via a video link.
‘Oh my god you guys, well first of all she’s laying on the pillow right now, and I’m feeding her, and I can’t believe it!’ she continued, while Savannah and Jenna Bush Hager dabbed their eyes with tissues.
She praised her family and friends who have supported her during this difficult time, choking up as she thanked co-anchor Savannah Guthrie for ‘being there every single day’
‘I’m grateful for the doctors at Weill Cornell who were amazing and the nurses and I’m grateful to my family and I’m grateful to friends like you who were there every single day,’ Hoda said
‘In your life you think that maybe you’ve gotten what you deserve, but man I’m so happy 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 for the first time in public since she left the morning show last week, when she was pictured picking up Haley Joy from school in New York City.
The mother-of-two was bundled up in a cozy white puffer coat and a knit hat while walking with her oldest child, who was happily riding her purple scooter alongside her.
Hoda was dressed casually in skinny black pants and black platform booties for the afternoon school run. Instead of a purse, she wore a backpack over her shoulders, and she carried Haley’s cherry red L.L. Bean school bag in her hand.
The mom held onto a plastic sandwich bag filled with Goldfish crackers, and she sweetly doled them out to Haley as she scooted down the sidewalk.
The little girl looked adorable in a light gray North Face coat, star-print pants, and black high-top sneakers with velcro straps. She also had on her signature red glasses and a colorful helmet that featured rainbows and stars.
Before Hoda picked up Haley, she was seen taking a phone call while she walked. She had on a cream knit hat and glasses, which she is rarely seen wearing.
She later swapped her hat for a playful gray one with a pom-pom on top that had ‘Chow Time’ written across the front in white letters.
Last week, Hoda was seen picking up her six-year-old daughter Haley from school – marking the first time she had been seen in public since taking a break from the show
The mom-of-two strolled alongside her oldest daughter, who was riding a purple scooter
Hoda’s last appearance on-air was on February 17, although she was featured on a pre-taped episode of Today with Hoda and Jenna, alongside her co-host, on February 20.
People were also quick to notice that she failed to release an episode of her weekly podcast, Making Space.
The mother-of-two continued to post inspirational quotes on her Instagram account during her absence, including one today from Superman star Christopher Reeve that read: ‘Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.’
Last week she shared a similar post that stated: ‘One day you will see just how brave you have been.’
She then shared another post that read, ‘”There are dark clouds,” said the boy. “Yes, but they will move on,” said the horse. “The blue sky above never leaves.”‘
A third message that was posted by Hoda last weekend, stated, ‘Here’s to 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 said, ‘Choose hope,’ which she captioned with two heart emojis.
The Today star regularly shares inspirational quotes on her feed, and she has published a collection of her favorites in her books I Really Needed 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 they were as an engaged couple.’
Hoda last appeared on the Today show on February 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 fiance, Joel Schiffman (seen in 2019), in January 2022, after nearly a decade together
Hoda insisted at the time that there was no bad blood between them, and they continue to co-parent their daughters together.
‘Joel and I have had a lot of prayer and meaningful conversations over the holidays, and we decided that we are better as friends and parents than we are as an engaged couple,’ she said at the time.
‘So we decided we are going to start this new year on our new path as loving parents to our adorably delightful children and as friends. It’s not like something happened. They say sometimes relationships are 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 Hager pointed out that she wasn’t wearing her engagement ring.
She admitted it felt ‘weird and awkward’ to talk about it publicly, but added that she wanted to focus on the ‘joyous moments’ they had together.
‘A lot of women know what this feels like to be changing course in life I feel I can really breathe in this moment which is a strange feeling to feel. Sometimes in your life, you have to say the truth,’ she shared.
Prior to the couple’s split, Hoda was candid about her desire to one day adopt a third child – however she revealed in July 2021 that her plans to expand her brood had been delayed because of the pandemic.
‘You know what’s funny about the adoption stuff that’s going on now, apparently it’s really slow during this time, during COVID,’ she said during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live, before admitting: ‘I thought that it would be a different game.’
Hoda went on to explain that she and Joel had been told by their adoption agency that the pandemic has prompted many people who might normally want to give up their babies to ‘hold onto’ them instead.