NBC News Correspondent Richard Engel Mourns Death of 6-Year-Old Son Henry

·2 min read

Richard Engel is mourning the loss of a beloved family member.

On Aug. 18, the NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent announced the death of his 6-year-old son Henry.

"Our beloved son Henry passed away," he wrote on Twitter. "He had the softest blue eyes, an easy smile and a contagious giggle. We always surrounded him with love and he returned it, and so much more. Mary and Richard."

The journalist shared a link to a memorial page on the Texas Children's Hospital website, which offered more details on Henry's life and his battle with Rett syndrome, a genetic brain disorder without a treatment or cure.

According to the hospital, Henry first came to Texas Children's Hospital's Duncan Neurological Research Institute in 2018 for care. He ultimately passed away on Aug. 9.

"Henry was special in so many ways," Dr. Huda Zoghbi, who studied Henry's case, said online. "His loving and endearing smile, and the way he connected with his eyes, stole my heart from the time I met him. His quiet fight against this terrible disease was incredible."

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Dr. Huda added, "What is most amazing, however, is the impact Henry had on so many of us at the Duncan NRI and on our Rett research. We will continue to push as hard as possible to develop treatments. This is how we will honor his life."

Richard Engel, Henry

Soon after Henry's passing was confirmed, many of Richard's NBC News colleagues shared their condolences online.

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"Oh Richard…I am so so so sorry," Today's Hoda Kotb wrote on Twitter. "My heart aches for you and your family. We love you."

Lester Holt added, "I am crushed by the news Richard. Thanks to you and Mary for sharing Henry's story and the joy and richness he brought into your lives. Your colleagues mourn with you."

Back in May, Richard shared an update on his son telling social media followers that "he's taken a turn for the worse."

But in an essay Richard wrote for Today in 2019, the journalist expressed how important it is to focus on the positive aspects of life including the moment Henry called him "Dada" for the first time.

"To parents with typically developing children, a little Dada may not seem like a big deal," he wrote. "But for me it was a validation, an acknowledgement that he's in there, knows me, knows that his mother and I are forces for good in his life, and above all, that he loves us."

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