Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb Pay Emotional Tribute to Richard Engel's Late Son

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The Today show's Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb have paid heartbreaking tribute to Richard Engel's late son, Henry. 

On Thursday, NBC News' chief foreign correspondent shared the heartbreaking news that he and wife Mary Forrest's firstborn son, who suffered from Rett syndrome, had died a month shy of his seventh birthday. "Our beloved son Henry passed away. He had the softest blue eyes, an easy smile and a contagious giggle," the mourning dad tweeted. "We always surrounded him with love and he returned it, and so much more."

Following the devastating news, Today co-anchor Guthrie shared a tribute to the little boy gone too soon and his devoted parents, whom she called the "personification of what it means to be a parent."

"Dearest Richard and Mary, you were amazing warriors for Henry - pouring your love and care into him and fighting for him every day with everything you’ve got. To me, you are the personification of what it means to be a parent - to love, adore, and delight in your child, and bring every ounce of your beings to their flourishing. You’re my heroes," she wrote on Instagram. "My dear Henry, you will be missed. I will always remember the twinkle in your eye. We will keep fighting for you."

Co-anchor Kotb shared the news with viewers on Friday morning, telling the audience that "at such a young age, Henry Engel carried that fighting spirit" as he lived with the rare and incurable disorder. The syndrome robbed Henry of the ability to walk, speak and feed himself.

In May, Engel told fans that his son had "taken a turn for the worse" as Henry developed uncontrolled shaking and stiffness known as dystonia. The youngster had been hospitalized for six weeks before returning home and reuniting with his younger brother, Theo. 

"All of us are sending our love to Richard, to Mary and to Theo," Kotb told viewers on Friday. "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."


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