Al Roker Gives Update on Health and Provides New Details Behind the 7-Hour Surgery That Saved His Life

The TODAY show no longer has to count down the days until Al Roker makes his return – as of January 6th, the legendary weather presenter and host has officially returned to the studio. The news comes after Roker was sent to the hospital twice over the past two months due to a number of medical issues. 

In his much-anticipated return, Roker opened up about his experience with his wife – who described it as ‘the most tumultuous, frightening journey we have been on.’ It was especially concerning because most people, including the couple themselves, had no idea how sick Roker really was until this health scare. 

“Look, I had two complicating things. I had blood clots, which they think came up after I had COVID in September. And then I had this internal bleeding going on, I lost half my blood. They were trying to figure out where it was,” explained Al Roker, alongside his colleagues for the first time since November 4th. 

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“Al was a very, very, very sick man, most people didn’t know that. 2 doctors led this brilliant team – it was a team – who had to figure out what was happening. He was a medical mystery for a couple of weeks. And it was the most tumultuous, frightening journey we have been on,” said his wife, Deborah Roberts.

Roberts went on to call her husband a ‘living breathing miracle,’ adding she doesn’t feel she’s overstating it. “It’s not lost on us that this is a major, major thing for Al to be here.” Roker will be turning 69 in August and is no stranger to health complications – though he’s never experienced anything like his latest scare. 

Al Roker went on to praise his wife during the third hour of TODAY. The couple has been married since September 1995 and share two children together – a 24-year-old daughter, Leila, and a 20-year-old son, Nick. Roberts is also a stepmother to Roker’s 35-year-old daughter, Courtney, from a previous marriage.

“Thank god for Deborah. She basically shielded me from all of this. I’m a living example of ignorance is bliss. I was able to put all my energy into recuperating because I didn’t know how bad this was. … I thought I was doing good!” he said on the show. It was exciting and emotional to finally see him back. 

Despite a 7-Hour Surgery, Deborah Roberts Knew Al Roker Would Be Okay

Al Roker was scheduled to undergo one surgery, but that quickly changed once surgeons began operating – they found two bleeding ulcers that needed to be treated immediately. During a 7-hour surgery, they resectioned his colon, removed his gallbladder, and operated on part of the small intestine.

His wife went on to explain the moment she knew everything was going to be okay. Through what she described as a ‘very scratchy voice,’ a ‘gaunt and exhausted’ Al Roker said he wanted to make a spatchcocked turkey for Christmas. “And I didn’t know whether to burst into tears or just to beam,” she said.

“That was the moment for me, and it will always be the moment for me, that this man — I mean, I’m sitting here hoping he’s going to make it to Christmas and this man, he wants to make a turkey. I just knew at that point, that will, that drive, is so, so strong,” she continued – that’s the attitude that made him famous.

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“Al didn’t like being vulnerable and weak, in his mind. Through that weakness and his vulnerability, he showed strength, and I will never, ever forget that example,” she added. Al Roker is certainly happy to be back with his TODAY colleagues and it was clear that his colleagues felt the same way about their star. 

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