Hoda Kotb returns to ‘Today’ show, reveals daughter Hope’s hospitalization

Hoda Kotb returned to the “Today” show Monday and revealed the mysterious “family health matter” that led to her extended absence.

“My youngest [daughter], Hope, was in the ICU for a few days and in the hospital for more than a week,” the news anchor explained to co-host Savannah Guthrie at the top of the show.

“I’m so grateful she’s home,” the 58-year-old continued. “We are watching her closely. I am just so happy.”

Kotb went on to express gratitude for those who “helped” during the 3-year-old’s health scare, including Guthrie.

“I’m grateful for the doctors and the nurses,” she gushed, tearing up. “I’m grateful to my family and to friends like you who were there every single day.”

Craig Melvin first told concerned viewers on March 1 that Kotb was dealing with a “family health matter” after she had been off the air for nearly two weeks without explanation.

“We know a lot of you have been wondering how she’s doing,” the “3rd Hour” co-host, 43, said at the time. “We can tell you that Hoda is OK, [but] she’s got a family health matter that she’s been dealing with.”

Hoda Kotb on the "Today" show.
Hoda Kotb has broken her silence on the mysterious “family health matter” she’s been dealing with.
Nathan Congleton/NBC via Getty Images

Melvin added that the show’s team was looking “forward to seeing Hoda and Savannah [Guthrie] back here at the desk very, very soon,” referring to Guthrie, 51, being sidelined due to her third COVID-19 diagnosis.

“We love you both,” Al Roker added while he, Melvin and Sheinelle Jones all blew air-kisses to the camera.

Savannah Guthrie smiles in black lace sitting beside Hoda Kotb in pink suit on "Today" show
Kotb revealed her daughter Hope’s hospitalization.

Kotb’s “Today with Hoda & Jenna” co-anchor, Jenna Bush Hager, echoed Melvin’s statement later that morning.

“Willie [Geist] is in for Hoda, and we just want to let you all know that we heard you, and Hoda is OK,” Bush Hager, 41, said during the show’s fourth hour.

“She just has a family health matter she is dealing with,” she reiterated.

Craig Melvin, Sheinelle Jones and Al Roker talking on the "Today" show.
“3rd Hour” co-anchor Craig Melvin, who has been filling in for Kotb, revealed she was handing a “family health matter” on March 1.
Willie Geist and Jenna Bush Hager talking on "Today with Hoda & Jenna."
Jenna Bush Hager and Willie Geist also briefly spoke about Kotb’s absence on “Today with Hoda & Jenna.”
Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager talking on "Today with Hoda & Jenna."
Kotb has not appeared on a live broadcast since Feb. 17.
Nathan Congleton/NBC via Getty Images

Bush Hager and Geist, 47, added that they “love” and “adore” Kotb while eagerly awaiting her return.

The veteran broadcast journalist last appeared on a live broadcast on Feb. 17. Her podcast, “Making Space,” also pressed pause on releasing new episodes each Monday.

A selfie of Hoda Kotb with her family and two daughters.
Kotb is a mother to two daughters she adopted: Haley and Hope.

Kotb also took a break from posting her usual family photos and news stories on Instagram, instead sharing only inspirational quotes.

The quotes were about choosing “hope” and staying “strong” and “brave” amid “dark clouds.”

A selfie of Joel Schiffman smiling with his and Hoda Kotb's two daughters.
Kotb gushed about ex Joel Schiffman being a “great dad” last August.

Kotb shares daughters Hope and Haley, 5, with her ex-fiancé, Joel Schiffman.

The former couple broke off their engagement in December 2021, but they continue to co-parent their girls. The mom of two raved to People about having created a “healthy mix” with the “great dad” last August.

Savannah Guthrie and Craig Melvin talking on the "Today" show.
Savannah Guthrie has also been absent from the news desk after testing positive for COVID-19.

“He’ll have a Saturday, and I’ll do the Sunday. We switch each week,” she explained at the time. “He’ll take the girls and do some fun things, and I’ll take some quiet time.”

“They love it,” she added of Haley and Hope.

Sheinelle Jones and Jenna Bush Hager hugging on "Today with Hoda & Jenna."
Sheinelle Jones also has helped co-anchor “Today with Hoda & Jenna” alongside Jenna Bush Hager.
Nathan Congleton/NBC via Getty Images

During Kotb’s “Today” and “Today with Hoda & Jenna” absences, several members of different news teams filled in for her.

“3rd Hour” co-anchors Melvin and Jones, 44, both helped out alongside longtime “Today” show weatherman Roker, 68.

“World News Tonight” anchor Tom Llamas and Carson Daly also had more active roles in recent weeks.

Jones and Geist were the only two people to co-host alongside Bush Hager for the fourth-hour show.

source: nypost.com