Hoda Kotb Addresses Daughter Hope’s Health Scare for the 1st Time


Hoda Kotb is opening up about her 4-year-old daughter’s health scare for the very first time. 

In February 2023, the Today cohost was noticeably absent from the morning show for two weeks. When she returned, she shared that her daughter Hope, whom she adopted in 2019, had been hospitalized and spent multiple days in the ICU. Kotb didn’t specify the reason due to Hope’s age, but her condition still impacts their family today. 

“We had a scary stretch,” Kotb, 59, told People in an interview published on Wednesday, March 6. 

Kotb, who was promoting Hope Is a Rainbow, her children’s book inspired by her daughter, continued, “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.”

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Once Hope returned home from the hospital, Kotb said she and her family tried to find a new normal and since then “things have stabilized.” (She is also mom to 7-year-old daughter Haley, whom she adopted in 2017, and coparents her daughters with ex-fiancé Joel Schiffman.)

Still, looking ahead, Kotb said she doesn’t want Hope’s condition to define her. 

Hoda Kotb Addresses Daughter Hope's Health Scare for the 1st Time: 'You Can't Will It Away'

Hoda Kotb with daughters Hope and Haley.
Courtesy of Hoda Kotb/Instagram

“It’s really tricky, because I don’t want Hope to get labeled,” she explained. “She’s a kid who is so vibrant, and most days everything is totally fine. I don’t want people to look at her differently.”

At the same time, Kotb is doing what she can not to project her concerns onto Hope. She has expanded her village and hired help to navigate Hope’s condition amid her demanding work schedule. However, it’s still difficult for the mom of two to get rest as she’s waiting to see if Hope’s monitor alarms will sound off in the middle of the night.

“I’m not going to put my worry on her. It’s too much for a kid to carry,” Kotb maintained. “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 OK?’ I’m trying so hard to let her be a kid and not have all of the grown-up worries.”

'Today' News Anchor Hoda Kotb's Family Album With Daughters and Loved Ones: Photos red dresses

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Kotb said faith has been the rock for her and daughters.

Hoda Kotb Addresses Daughter Hope's Health Scare for the 1st Time: 'You Can't Will It Away'
Courtesy of Hoda Kotb/Instagram

“I tell them, ‘God’s everywhere,’” the television personality continued. “And I think it’s been helpful to Hope, especially during this kind of period in her life. She likes to be protected. She looks up sometimes, and I go, ‘What are you looking at? What’s that?’ She goes, ‘Angels are here.’ And I go, ‘Where?’ She goes, ‘Here.’ And I’m laying there. I’m as quiet as I can be not to disturb the most beautiful moment.”

Working through the medical scare hasn’t been easy, but Kotb strongly believes the challenge will serve a purpose as Hope gets older. 

“I look at her, and I think, ‘Wow, you blossomed into this incredible kid who is so resilient and well-equipped for her whole life despite this stuff that has happened to her,’” Kotb said, becoming emotional. “She just demonstrates that when you have whatever she has inside of her, this will, this fight, this everything … she can withstand anything. This child is going to have the easiest adulthood because she’s had a tough go of it early on.”

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