NBC News Correspondent Richard Engel’s Son Passes Away at Six Years Old

Following a battle with Rett Syndrome, Richard Engel, a beloved correspondent for NBC News reveals that his six-year-old son, Henry, has passed away.

Over the years, Engel has been open about his son’s battles. Rett Syndrome is a genetic brain disorder that does not have a treatment or cure.

NBC News Correspondent Richard Engel’s Son Passes Away at Six Years Old

Engel announced his beloved little boy’s passing on Twitter on August 18. “Our beloved son Henry passed away. He had the softest blue eyes, an easy smile and a contagious giggle. We always surrounded him with love and he returned it, and so much more.” He signed the tweet, “Mary and Richard.”

As the International Rett Syndrome reports, the disorder can affect “nearly every aspect of a child’s life,” including the “ability to speak, walk, eat, and breathe easily.”

The disorder is often recognized in children between 6 to 18 months. Henry and the Engel family worked closely with  Dr. Huda Zoghbi during his six years of life, Today reports. Dr. Zoghbi herself issued a statement, as well, following Henry’s passing.

“Henry was special in so many ways. His loving and endearing smile, and the way he connected with his eyes, stole my heart from the time I met him. His quiet fight against this terrible disease was incredible. We will continue to push as hard as possible to develop treatments. This is how we will honor his life.”

Four years ago, in 2018, Richard Engel wrote an op-ed for Today in which he got personal about the heartbreak of watch his son deal with this disorder, but also the sheer joy Henry brought to their lives. He wrote, in part, “None of this means we don’t enjoy our time with Henry. I can’t imagine a child who is shored with more love.”

“We gather on our bed several times a day for what we call ‘cuddle parties,’ where we kid him, rub him, praise him (he loves to hear his name and be praised) and curl his think, gorgeous hair in our fingers,” Engel continued.

richard engel gives heart wrenching update about 6-year-old son henry
Instagram

Engel also marveled at the moment Henry uttered his first “dada” to him. A moment he will remember as long as he lives. 

“For me it was validation, an acknowledgment that he’s in there, knows me, knows that his mother and I are forces for good in his life, and above all, that he loves us.” 

Engel’s latest update on his son’s disorder came earlier this year in March in which he told the world that Henry’s condition had “progressed.” Henry at developed dystonia, which resulted in “uncontrolled shaking and stiffness.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Engel family during this incredibly difficult time.

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