Beloved weatherman Al Roker appeared upbeat as he made his virtual return to the Today Show on Monday morning – his first live appearance since being hospitalized twice with blood clots.
Roker, 68, was greeted with cheers and applause from his co-hosts during the broadcast from the kitchen of his Upper Eastside apartment.
He said he was getting stronger each day and expressed his ‘profound sense of gratitude’ for all the love and support he has received from his coworkers, fans, and family since his recent health scare.
‘We miss you so much Al. The crowd misses you. There is not a day that we don’t go out there that people aren’t holding up signs: ‘Where is Al?’ ‘We want Al!,’ Savannah Guthrie said, joined by co-hosts Hoda Kotb, Dylan Dreyer, and Craig Melvin.
‘It’s good to be home. It is good to see your faces,’ Roker said. ‘It has been a tough slog, I’m not going to lie, it has been the hardest one yet and you know I have had my share of surgeries.’
Beloved weatherman Al Roker appeared upbeat as he made his virtual return to the Today Show on Monday morning – his first live appearance since being hospitalized twice with blood clots. He said: ‘It’s good to be home. It is good to see your faces. It has been a tough slog, I’m not going to lie, it has been the hardest one yet and you know I have had my share of surgeries’
‘We miss you so much Al. The crowd misses you. There is not a day that we don’t go out there that people aren’t holding up signs: ‘Where is Al?’ ‘We want Al!,’ Savannah Guthrie said, joined by co-hosts Hoda Kotb, Dylan Dreyer and Craig Melvin on Monday’s Today Show broadcast
Looking visibly thinner and wearing a pullover from his alma mater, Oswego State, Roker shared with his colleagues an update on his health.
‘So there is a certain amount of weakness. I’m doing physical therapy every day, and occupational therapy. I’ve got to get my strength back,’ he said.
He said a knee replacement he was scheduled to have in January that has been pushed back.
‘But I feel good. I feel strong. Every day is a little better than the last, and I made dinner last night.’
He continued. ‘I just feel like there’s gonna be a little bit of a slog. But there are people who have to deal with a lot more with a lot fewer resources. I’m very fortunate and very blessed to have the resources.’
He thanked everyone for visiting him at the hospital saying that he needs to get his strength back but called himself ‘fortunate.’ His sense of humor was intact during the segment, as he joked that his colleague Hota Kotb was ‘named an honorary doctor.’
‘She would literally show up. She did a Houdini. She would just be there,’ he said.
He also noted the great care he received at New York Presbyterian calling the nurses and medical staff ‘wonderful.’
And, joked that when the doctor asked if they had any questions his wife of 27 years, journalist Deborah Roberts, 62, ‘whipped out a list of about 20.’
Before the close of the live segment, his colleagues blew him kisses and wished him a speedy recovery.
Many Today Show fans took to Twitter to share their support and love. One person wrote: ‘Al is back I’m in tears.’
Many fans sent Roker best wishes for a speedy recovery
‘So incredibly grateful to family, friends, medical folks, @todayshow family and all your thoughts and prayers,’ Roker said with his wife, Deborah Roberts (pictured left) and one of his daughters Leila (pictured right) in Instagram photo
Roker tweeted out an inspirational message to his supporters from the hospital on Thursday
Roker posted on Twitter that he was leaving the hospital and home for Thanksgiving dinner but, the next day he was rushed back to the hospital due to ‘complications’
Roker watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from his home. It would be the first time in more than a quarter of a century, he would miss co-hosting the iconic event
Roker was released from the hospital on Thursday. He was first hospitalized in November due to blood clots in his leg and lungs.
He was released on Thanksgiving in time to spend the holiday with his family, but was rushed back to the hospital a day later due to ‘complications.’
Sources close to the Roker family told Page Six on November 30 that Roker had been taken out on a stretcher from his Upper East Side apartment on November 25.
The Hollywood Reporter said it was for blood clots again.
On November 30, Roker’s daughter Leila captioned a selfie on her Instagram Stories, writing: ‘thank you to all the wonderful friends and family who have reached out. We really appreciate it’
Fears grew for the Today show staple, who missed out on the lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, after already having to sit out of NBC’s annual coverage of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
During the December 1 broadcast, Today Show Co-host Hoda Kotb told viewers that Roker had been hospitalized again ‘due to some complications,’ but said that he was in ‘very good care.’
‘It was wonderful hosting the celebration, but, of course, we all wished that Al could’ve been with us,’ said Kotb.
She continued: ‘He’s resting and his doctors are keeping a close eye on him. Al and his family want everyone to know how grateful they are for all the love, the support and the well wishes.’
Kotb recalled that Roker had given a ‘thumbs up’ during the FaceTime call which took place during the tree lighting.
‘We will see you back here soon, my friend,’ Melvin added during Thursday’s show.
Kotb went into further detail about her FaceTime conversation with Roker on the show saying that she had said that ‘it was really boring without him’ and that he ‘makes everything better.’
Roker was first hospitalized last month, addressing the circumstances of his health condition in an Instagram post.
‘So many of you have been thoughtfully asking where I’ve been. Last week I was admitted to the hospital with a blood clot in my leg, which sent some clots into my lungs,’ the weatherman and Today anchor wrote.
‘After some medical whack-a-mole, I am so fortunate to be getting terrific medical care and on the way to recovery. Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers and hope to see you soon. Have a great weekend, everyone.’
On November 30, Al’s daughter Leila captioned a selfie on her Instagram Stories, writing: ‘thank you to all the wonderful friends and family who have reached out. We really appreciate it.’
A photo of Al Roker with his family during Thanksgiving. He posted on Twitter how thankful he was to be home: #thankful to be able to be home for #thanksgiving #dinner with #familyfamilywife kids
A photo of the popular NBC weatherman broadcasting live from the 90th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 24, 2016, in New York City
Al was unable to host the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time in more than a quarter of a century.
‘For the past 27 parades, at this moment, we would turn to Al Roker, who’s our TODAY show colleague and our best pal, but as a lot of you have heard, Al’s recovering and he’s recovering very well from a recent medical issue,’ Kotb said during the parade.
‘We just want to say, we love you Al. We wonder if you’re watching, but we wish you a full recovery.’
Roker shared a video of himself on Thanksgiving morning walking through the hospital floor, clad in a black baseball cap, blue face mask a green and grey polo shirt from his alma mater – SUNY Oswego – blue pants and black shoes.
‘All right, this is my version of the Thanksgiving Day parade, getting ready to leave the hospital. Time to blow this taco stand,’ Roker said in the brief video.
‘So much to be #thankful for on the #Thanksgiving day. Leaving the hospital and home for #ThanksgivingDinner,’ he said in the caption.
Roker’s health scare comes over two years after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in September 2020.
A routine physical revealed he had elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which is a screening tool for early detection.
A biopsy later confirmed he had a more aggressive form of the disease, but, because was caught early, it could be easily removed with surgery.
The Today Show star went public with his diagnosis on the show on November 6, 2020, three days before he underwent a five-hour surgery performed by Dr. Vincent Laudone at New York City’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Al Roker speaking virutally on Monday morning in his first live appearance since he was hospitalized with two blood clots
America’s favorite weatherman posted on his Instagram an update on his health to his adoring fans
A week later he received a pathology report that found there was no evidence of cancer in his body outside of his prostate, which he had surgically removed along with the surrounding lymph nodes.
Roker continues to undergo regular testing to ensure his cancer hasn’t returned.
In June, he opened up about how his children — Courtney, 35, Leila, 24, and Nick, 20 — reacted to his cancer diagnosis while filming a Father’s Day segment.
‘It was the first time I saw fear in my children’s eyes. I mean, they started crying,’ he told his co-stars and fellow dads, Carson Daly and Craig Melvin, at Coney Island’s Luna Park.
‘At the end of the day, that’s all you wanna do is protect them and shield them from hurt and/or harm,’ he explained. ‘And at that moment, I realized you can’t always do that. But you can do the best you can.’
‘That’s what I know our fathers did,’ he added, looking at Melvin, 43, and Daly, 49. ‘And that’s all we can do.’
That same month, Roker revealed on the show that he had lost roughly 45 pounds by combining a daily walking routine with a low-carb diet.
‘Exercise, and not extreme exercise — we’re doing that 30-day walking challenge — that improves, I think, your mental health,’ Roker said. ‘Combined with a low-carb diet, I’ve lost about 45 pounds in the last several months. I do about 100 grams of carbs a day and I walk.’
Kotb at the time was quick to add that Roker does more than walk, saying he also incorporates weight training into his workouts.
‘I’m the oldest person here. I’m trying to last a little longer,’ he joked with his colleagues, who are all in their 40s and 50s.
In March, Roker celebrated the 20-year anniversary of his gastric bypass surgery, saying he will ‘never forget’ how far he has come since losing more than 100 pounds.
He marked the occasion on Instagram by sharing photos of himself in his old jeans to show how he is half the size he was two decades ago.
‘Hard to believe it was 20 years ago today, I wore these size 54 Levi jeans to my #gastricbypass at 340 lbs and here I am today,’ he wrote in the caption.
‘It’s still a struggle but I’m never going back,’ he added. ‘I have setbacks and struggle every day, but I never forget how far I’ve come.’
The Today star candidly detailed his battle with binge eating and weight loss and how it had impacted his life, career, and marriage to TV journalist Deborah Roberts in his 2012 book ‘Never Goin’ Back: Winning the Weight Loss Battle for Good’
Al Roker and Deborah Roberts have been married since 1995 and share three children together: Courtney Nicholas Albert and Leila
The Today star candidly detailed his battle with binge eating and weight loss and how it had impacted his life, career, and marriage to TV journalist Deborah Roberts in his 2012 book ‘Never Goin’ Back: Winning the Weight Loss Battle for Good.’
‘My wife is a size 4; she runs, she works out and it became a problem in our marriage. On a Saturday she’d get up, get dressed to run and I’d be sitting on the couch or making breakfast for the kids and was quite happy about our choices. She, on the other hand, was not,’ he wrote in an essay for Today in 2013.
‘She was upset about it, she was frustrated, she was angry,’ he recalled. ‘She thought, ‘Why don’t you care enough about yourself and why don’t you care about me and our relationship enough to change?’ And I said, ‘Look, it’s not about you. It’s about me.”
In Roker’s memoir, he explained how the turning point in his health journey came after he promised his dying father, Albert Lincoln Roker Sr., he’d lose weight.
‘I don’t know if you’ve ever had to make a deathbed promise to someone you love, but if you have, you know the kind of guilt and massive responsibility I felt in that moment,’ he wrote.
Roker has continued to keep the weight off with regular exercise, including power walking, and healthy meals. In 2019, he lost 40 pounds on the high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet.
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
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