Al Roker Reveals Details Of Terrifying ‘Medical Mystery’ In Grateful Return To Today!

After a two-month hiatus from Today, Al Roker is back — and ready to share the details of his grueling health battle.

The 68-year-old was happy to be back in the company of his Today co-stars Friday, and with the support of his wife right by his side, he dove into just how scary the last two months have been. You may remember back in November, Al shared on Instagram, alongside a picture of flowers and an NBC News weather mug:

“I was admitted to the hospital with a blood clot in my leg which sent some clots into my lungs.”

What began as just a few days off the air quickly turned into two whole months! He revealed on the Friday morning broadcast he actually underwent a seven-hour surgery to “correct a bunch of internal stuff,” which he didn’t initially believe was so serious. He explained: 

“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.”

OMG! So much for “not serious”.

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His wife, Deborah Roberts, added:

“Al was a very, very, very sick man… Most people didn’t know that. Two 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 must tumultuous, frightening journey we have been on.”

The fan favorite weatherman was being cared for at the New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, where — through surgery — doctors discovered two bleeding ulcers. This resulted in his colon being resectioned, the removal of his gallbladder, and a procedure on his duodenum, which is a part of the small intestine. Al jokingly commented: 

“I went in for one operation, I got four free. So I got that going for me.”

Luckily, he had the full support and care of his wife. He gushed: 

“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!”

Roberts added:

“It’s not lost on us that this is a major, major thing for Al to be here. He is a living, breathing miracle. And I’m not overstating it, I think.”

But there was one moment in particular where she knew her husband was going to be okay:

“Al went through a lot of tests, a lot of scopes. There was just so much that had to be done, and a major major surgery, if you don’t mind me saying. And we were just on pins and needles, every day. I kept everyone abreast — our family, you all. And Al and I were sitting there one day in the hospital… And through this very scratchy voice, and he was so gaunt and exhausted, he said, ‘I’m going to make a spatchcock turkey for Christmas.’ And I didn’t know whether to burst into tears or just to beam.”

She continued:

“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.”

That must have been a much needed moment for the worried wife during such an emotionally exhausting time! Even Al’s own gastroenterologist, Dr. Felice H. Schnoll-Sussman, explained how dire the morning news star’s condition was in a pre-recorded segment: 

“[We] were extraordinarily concerned about Al. Extraordinarily concerned. He had a life-threatening experience. I mean, there’s just no doubt about that.”

Al added:

“I just knew because these doctors — all these doctors, I knew they had my back. And the nurses, the staff… They were fantastic… Just world-class. I’m blessed, I have great health care.”

Roberts then chimed in, remembering:

“You also had prayer. There was a prayer circle you wouldn’t believe. Not only from our family, you all, my colleagues, but perfect strangers. I was walking down the street — anytime I was going some place, ‘I’m paying for your husband.’ The amount of good will towards you, I will never, ever ever forget and never take for granted.”

What an amazing community of support. Al noted:

“All of you [at Today], all of you at home – The prayer, you could feel it.”

Roberts reflected:

“Al didn’t like be vulnerable and weak, in his mind. Through that weakness and his vulnerability, he showed strength, and I will never, ever forget that example.”

Related: Al Brought To tears By Today Show Surprise At Home!

She also learned the value of patience, adding:

“I’ve never ever been good at patience. I’m ready to get on with it, we all work in television. I have learned the power of patience. We all have to go with that.”

Al then confessed how difficult it was for him to be vulnerable during the frightening time:

“As a guy, you don’t want your family to see you’re vulnerable. You’re supposed to be the strong one.”

However, as of now, he’s getting “the strength back” through almost daily physical therapy sessions, and blood thinners. He also noted his dedication to the Start TODAY walking group, where he took over 10,000 steps for 200 days in a row has aided in his recovery: 

“Each of my doctors said, if I wasn’t in the shape that I was in, this might’ve been a different outcome.”

Watch the full clip (below):

We’re so happy Al is in a good place now after such a terrifying couple months! Share your support in the comments down below!

[Image via NBC/Twitter]

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