Al Roker returned to Today on Friday morning after being away for two months following a four-week hospitalization in November. The weatherman shifted his full attention to recovery after the health scare caused by a blood clot in his leg that dispersed into smaller clots, eventually spreading to his lungs.
During his comeback broadcast , Roker revealed that the clots were an unfortunate effect of having COVID-19 in September, which was further complicated by internal bleeding. “I lost half my blood,” he explained. “They were trying to figure out where it was.”
The medical team at the New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center discovered two bleeding ulcers during one visit. Roker revealed that doctors were tasked with resectioning his colon, removing his gallbladder, and restructuring part of his small intestine. He laughed: “I went in for one operation, I got four free.”
Jokes aside, the beloved Today team member reflected on the severity of the medical emergency he faced. “Each of my doctors said, if I wasn’t in the shape that I was in, this might’ve been a different outcome,” he said.
Dr. Felice H. Schnoll-Sussman, Roker’s gastroenterologist, told Today that the medical professionals working with him were “extraordinarily concerned” and described his experience as “life-threatening.”
Roker’s wife, Deborah, also stopped by the show to share her perspective on his recovery. “He is a living, breathing miracle,” she said. “He really is, and I have to say — I’m not overstating it, I don’t think — Al was a very, very sick man. And I think most people did not know that.”
She added: “He was a medical mystery for weeks. It was the most tumultuous, frightening journey we have ever been on.” More from Rolling Stone Best of Rolling Stone
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