Al Roker was welcomed back to the show by both his co-anchors and his loving family.
Al Roker has returned to TODAY after his months-long medical journey and he was welcomed back by not just his co-anchors but also his family, reported TODAY. On January 6, Roker returned to the 3rd Hour of TODAY with co-anchors Sheinelle Jones, Dylan Dreyer, and Craig Melvin. He was first admitted to the hospital in November 2022 for a blood clot in his leg which, Roker shared on Instagram, "sent some clots into my lungs."
He was released on Thanksgiving Day but was hospitalized again before finally going home to recuperate on December 8, 2022.
Roker's family celebrated his TODAY homecoming by surprising him with loving "welcome back" messages from his three children—Courtney, 35, Nick, 20, and Leila, 24. "Hey dad, just wanted to welcome you back to work and tell you I love you," said Courtney, standing next to her husband, Wesley Laga. "We are so proud of you and we can't wait to see you back in action back on the TODAY Show," his son-in-law chimed in.
His son Nick was next, saying: "We wish you all the best and all the love and we hope you really thrive in this new year."
"We're all so happy that you're back in the office—we know how much you love your job, so we're so happy that you can be back there and with your TODAY Show fam," Roker's daughter, Leila, added. "Just wishing you the best day, and love you!"
The 68-year-old journalist could not stop smiling as he watched his children share their wishes. Roker shared that one of the silver linings of his months-long medical troubles was "having them all together."
"Leila took time off from her job in Paris and was here for five weeks," he said. "Seeing them all together... and they just fell back into their rhythms." He also shared how Nick showed his love. "Nick would literally come around every 10 minutes and lean over and kiss me on the head because he just towers over me," Roker said, laughing. "I feel like a little Polly Pocket."
Despite his health scare, Roker said that having all family members together, and even in the hospital with him as he recovered from a 7-hour surgery, was "really special."
"My daughter Leila spent four nights at the hospital. Nick came in; Courtney came in; My brother Chris, my sister Lisa flew in from Chicago," he explained. "All of you coming in to visit... it meant so much."
Roker also admitted that he missed spending time with his TODAY show colleagues. "I have missed you all," he said. "I've seen you all at different times but just (to be) together... and we're actually wearing pants!" To celebrate his return, Roker's co-anchor Dylan said she wore the "brightest glasses I could find." Craig honored his colleague with a pair of argyle socks and said, "Ready to Roker and roll!”
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Jamie McCarthy