Viewers of the Today show and fans of Al Roker have known for a while that the weather anchor has experienced some health struggles recently. However, after a long period of absence and recovery, he returned to the Today show on Friday and detailed his experiences for the first time.
Roker returned to the show with his wife, Deborah Roberts. During the show, he explained a bit more about the blood clots he had previously mentioned he was hospitalized for.
He explained that he was hospitalized while suffering blood clot complications and very severe internal bleeding. Roker revealed just how frightening the complications were as he stated, “I lost half my blood. They were trying to figure out where it was.”
What was supposed to be a single operation turned into four operations as doctors were mystified by where the bleeding was coming from. In the end, it was discovered that he had two bleeding ulcers that required the removal of his gallbladder, resectioning of his colon, and redoing of his duodenum.
Roberts backed up Roker’s statements about the severity of his condition, calling him a “living, breathing miracle.” She also explained that he was very, very sick but that viewers might not have realized how serious it was at the time.
Roker credited his strong will and his doctors with his miraculous recovery, but it certainly wasn’t an easy journey.
Al Roker returned to the Today show after two months of absence
It was an emotional day on the set of the Today show, with Roker returning for the first time in two months after his medical troubles began. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room as Roker shared his story and began his weather segment after a long absence.
He received a very big welcome back to the show, with his co-host, Savannah Guthrie stating, “Al, to say we have missed you doesn’t even begin to describe it. It is nothing without you here.”
His Today show “work family” has been with him for every step of the long journey. In his first photo announcing his hospitalization, he showed he had received flowers and a mug from the Today show.
His co-hosts also gave plenty of updates to concerned viewers as they explained his condition and wished him well on the show.
After he experienced more complications and a re-hospitalization that further delayed his reappearance on the show, they took the show to him. The Today staff touched many when it was revealed they all came to Roker’s house to sing Christmas songs for him during his recovery.
After many weeks of concern, support, and well wishes, Roker was finally able to return to his beloved position as a weatherman for the Today show.
Roker’s medical leave of absence explained
Roker was admitted to the hospital for blood clots sometime in early November. However, he didn’t reveal the hospitalization until November 18, after his absence from the Today show was noticed.
Sadly, his hospitalization caused him to miss Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time in 27 years. However, he did get to watch part of the show on TV and got a shoutout from his co-hosts.
He also was released from the hospital for the first time on Thanksgiving day, in time for Thanksgiving dinner. While he was ecstatic about his release, he, unfortunately, was readmitted to the hospital the next day.
He reportedly suffered further complications as an ambulance was summoned to his home, and he was raced back to the hospital. However, by December 8, he returned home for the final time.
He spent the rest of the month recovering at home and partaking in Christmas festivities with his family.
Despite the long medical journey, he eased right back into the Today show and seemed very happy to be back once more.