Hoda Kotb Returns to 'Today' After 3-Year-Old Daughter Hope's ICU Stay: 'We Are Watching Her Closely'

"I'm grateful for my family and I'm grateful to friends like you who were there every single day," the Emmy-winning journalist told co-anchor Savannah Guthrie on Monday

Hoda Kotb returned to her anchoring duties on the Today show Monday after a two week absence.

The Emmy-winning journalist — who co-anchors the NBC morning news show with Savannah Guthrie, as well as hosts Today's fourth hour alongside Jenna Bush Hager — had been off live airways since Feb. 17, dealing with what Craig Melvin and Sheinelle Jones explained in a March 1 broadcast was "a family health matter."

She elaborated more on what happened Monday, explaining that her daughter Hope Catherine, 3, had health complications that landed her in the Intensive care unit and the hospital.

"My youngest, Hope, was in the ICU for and then in the hospital for a little over a week," Kotb, 58, told Guthrie. "I'm so grateful she's home, she is back home. I was waiting for that day to come, and we are watching her closely."

Hoda Kotb on Tuesday, November 11, 2022
Nathan Congleton/NBC

"You know what I realized too, Savannah? It's like, when your child is ill, the amount of gratitude you can have for people who helped you out," Kotb continued. "So I'm grateful for the doctors at Weill Cornell who were amazing and the nurses. And I'm grateful for my family and I'm grateful to friends like you who were there every single day. So I want to say thank you for that. I love you."

TODAY -- Pictured: Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb on Tuesday, January 2, 2018
Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb. Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty

Kotb did not provide further information about her daughter's diagnosis. PEOPLE has reached out for comment.

Guthrie — who herself was also back on the air on Monday after stepping away earlier this month during the Feb. 28 show when she tested positive for coronavirus — held Kotb's hand and gave her support after her speech.

"I love you too," Guthrie, 51, said." You have a lot of friends out there. We are right there with you, lifting you up and holding you. So let's do this."

"It's nice to have you right back where you belong," she noted earlier.

In addition to Hope, Kotb is also mom to daughter Haley Joy, 6.

During her break from Today, Kotb has been active on social media, sharing inspirational and encouraging messages.

"Choose hope," a message earlier this month read, while she later shared, "Sometimes miracles are just good people with kind hearts."

"Here's to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them," Kotb's post on Feb. 24 read. "I see you… you strong women ❤️," Kotb added.

Other posts over the past week have been about how "dark clouds" move on, while one pointedly showed a child figure being told, "One day you will see just how brave you have been."

Hoda Kotb kids
Hoda Kotb with her kids. Hoda Kotb Instagram

Kotb appeared on the first-ever episode of PEOPLE's podcast Me Becoming Mom back in October 2021, where she opened up about her journey to parenthood and shared the emotional story of when she realized she wanted children.

"I was actually with a girlfriend and we were walking down a street and I remember it like it was yesterday," she recalled. " ... Because I had never shared it with anyone that I had wanted — I still yearned for [having children] because it seemed like wanting to go to the moon, it's not happening, so don't even bring it up."

She added, "So she said, 'Well, neither of us really wanted to have children.' I looked at her and I said, 'Well, I do.' I didn't say did, I said I do. She looked at me and she goes, 'What?' I started crying. I said, 'I do. I do.' I said it out loud, 'I do.' "

"It was so weird. It was an everyday moment that turned into an epiphany and I had never spoken it," Kotb said.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

The journalist, who welcomed daughters Hope and Haley via adoption with ex-fiancé Joel Schiffman, said it wasn't until that moment when she "said it out loud" that she realized she had to become a mother. "I was like, 'Oh my God, I do want to have children, right now. Here in my current state,' " she shared.

Today airs weekdays on NBC beginning at 7 a.m. ET.

Related Articles