Hoda Kotb Shares Emotional Update On 4-Year-Old Daughter's Health Scare

The “Today” co-host took two weeks off last year to be by her daughter’s side.

Hoda Kotb is sharing new details about the health crisis that kept Hope, her young daughter, in intensive care for several days and, later, hospitalized for over a week last year.

The “Today” co-host told People in an interview published Wednesday that she and her family have been focused on “trying to make everything normal” as they settle into a long-term plan to maintain the 4-year-old girl’s health.

“We had a scary stretch,” Kotb explained. “Any parent who’s been through a scary thing with their child understands. It’s like you just can’t believe that your child’s sick. You can’t believe that there’s nothing you can do. You can’t believe that no matter what you do, you can’t will it away or protect her, or all the things that we’re supposed to be doing as parents. And it’s a position I’ve never found myself in.”

In February of last year, Kotb took two weeks off of “Today” as she tended to Hope during her illness. The journalist has never publicly disclosed her daughter’s diagnosis due to the child’s age, but has previously said that her condition required constant monitoring by medical professionals at first.

In February 2023, Hoda Kotb took two weeks off of "Today" to stay by her daughter Hope’s side.
In February 2023, Hoda Kotb took two weeks off of "Today" to stay by her daughter Hope’s side.
via Associated Press

More than a year later, Kotb ― who is also mom to a 7-year-old daughter, Haley ― has had to take steps to keep her own concerns from overwhelming Hope.

“I’m not going to put my worry on her. It’s too much for a kid to carry,” she told People. “Even just always saying, ‘How are you feeling? You feeling good today, honey?’ is saying, ‘I’m worried,’ because you’re not saying that about your other child. I’ll be discussing how it’s going with the nanny, the nurse, whoever, and if she’s there, she’s like, ‘Am I okay?’ I’m trying so hard to let her be a kid and not have all of the grown-up worries.”

On a more upbeat note, Kotb’s new children’s book, “Hope Is a Rainbow,” is a tribute to her younger daughter. Released this week, the book features illustrations by Chloe Dominique and is meant to encourage young readers to “reach for their dreams―whether they are as big as the night sky or as small as a bowl of purple ice cream,” according to press notes.

And as Hope’s journey of recovery continues, Kotb said she and her family are looking to the future with optimism.

“This child is going to have the easiest adulthood because she’s had a tough go of it early on,” she told People.

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