Hoda Kotb Gets Emotional as She Shares Tribute After 'Heartbreaking' Death of Richard Engel's Son

·3 min read

The NBC News family is sending their love to colleague Richard Engel, who announced the death of his 6-year-old son Henry on Thursday.

During Friday morning's episode of Today, co-anchors Hoda Kotb, Tom Llamas and Sheinelle Jones spoke about the "heartbreaking" news of Henry's death and looked back on the little boy's battle with Rett syndrome, a rare genetic neurological disorder.

NBC News chief foreign correspondent Engel, 48, shared the news of Henry's death on Twitter Thursday. Henry, whom Engel shares with his wife Mary, died on Aug. 9, according to a memorial page on the Texas Children's Hospital website.

"We have heartbreaking news to share with you about a member of our NBC News family," Kotb, 58, began the segment, appearing to get emotional. "Henry Engel, Richard Engel and Mary Forrest's 6-year-old son, has passed away. Henry suffered from a rare disease, it's called Rett syndrome."

"Over the last few years, Richard and Mary have shared their journey with our viewers to shed light on this disorder and so other struggling families with it wouldn't feel quite so alone," she added before playing a compilation of clips from Engel's past interviews about Henry.

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RELATED: Richard Engel Announces Death of 'Beloved' 6-Year-Old Son Henry

After sharing more about Henry's condition and journey, Kotb said she was sending her love to Engel, his wife and their 2-year-old son Theo.

"So many people watching our show see Richard standing in a very dangerous place covering something unaware that at home he was fighting what is the biggest battle," she said of the foreign correspondent. "I remember Mary talking about how she was caring for him, how she would carry him in a BabyBjörn all around the house and that's how she went through a lot of their life."

Added Llamas, "We know that Richard is so brave, but it is so brave for [Engel and his wife] to have shared that story and that journey because there are so many other families like that."

"Everyone at NBC News had their head down yesterday, it was just so sad. Richard, we love you and we're praying for you," he said, concluding the segment.

RELATED: Everything Richard Engel Said About 'Beloved' Son's Journey with Rett Syndrome Before His Death

Henry was first diagnosed with Rett Syndrome, a rare genetic neurological disorder that leads to severe physical and cognitive impairments and has no cure, as of yet, in 2017.

"Our beloved son Henry passed away. 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," Engel wrote alongside a sweet photo of his son on Thursday.

Engel linked to the memorial page in a follow-up post, writing, "Researchers are making amazing progress using Henry's cells to help cure RETT Syndrome so others don't have to endure this terrible disease."