Richard Engel Gives Emotional Update on 6-Year-Old Son With Rett Syndrome

Getty Images

In an emotional tweet on Monday, Richard Engel shared an update on his son, Henry, who was born with a variant of Rett syndrome.

"For everyone following Henry’s story, unfortunately he’s taken a turn for the worse," the 48-year-old NBC News chief foreign correspondent wrote. "His condition progressed and he’s developed dystonia: uncontrolled shaking/ stiffness."

Engel went on to share that Henry was recently "in the hospital for 6 weeks, but is now home and getting love from brother Theo." In the video Engel posted, his 2-year-old son, Theo, can be seen sweetly giving Henry a kiss on the forehead as they lay in bed together.

Following Engel's update, the Today show posted his message to Instagram with some background information on Henry's condition.

"Henry was born with a variation of Rett syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that starts with normal early development, which then starts to slow usually around 6 to 18 months of age, causing loss of use of the hands, problems with walking and intellectual disability, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke," the post read. "There is no cure for the condition, and people with Rett syndrome need care to treat their symptoms."

The post was flooded with uplifting comments for Engel, his wife, Mary Forrest, and their son. "I cannot imagine doing the incredible work you are doing while Henry has taken a turn," Al Roker wrote. "God bless you all. Thank you and your crew for the courageous journalism."

MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle added: "Praying for Richard and his beautiful family...thinking about all the amazing reporting he is doing from Ukraine while dealing with these enormous family health challenges."

On Tuesday, Engel thanked fans for their support alongside an adorable photo of Henry sitting up. "Thank you everyone for all the kind messages, from Henry, our Mr. Handsome," he tweeted.

Engel and Forrest opened up about Henry's condition during an interview on the Today show in January 2018. 

“It can feel very lonely when you go down the street and you see other children behaving normally and knowing that his life and our lives are never going to be like that,” Engel shared at the time.

Forrest agreed, adding: "It’s raw and painful and very personal, but hopefully other people will see this and feel a little less alone and we will too."


Ryan Seacrest Recalls 2020 Health Scare and Its Impact on His Future

Amy Grant Opens Up About Her Heart Defect Health Scare (Exclusive)

Richard Engel Shares His 2-Year-Old Son's Devastating Battle With Rett Syndrome

Related Gallery