Al Roker returned to the Today show on January 6 — two months after he was first hospitalized for blood clots. In a new interview, the anchor and Deborah Roberts, his wife and an ABC News correspondent, shared just how serious his “frightening” condition was. “It’s not lost on us that this is a major, major thing for Al to be here,” Roberts said. “He is a living, breathing miracle. He really is. And I have to say, I’m not overstating it — I don’t think — Al was a very, very, very sick man, and I think most people did not know that.” She noted that doctors needed some time to understand the full scope of her husband’s condition. “It was a team that had to figure out what was happening,” she said. “He was a medical mystery for a couple of weeks. And it was the most tumultuous, frightening journey we have ever been on.”
Roker explained that doctors think his blood clots may have been a result of his bout with COVID in September. The blood clots, combined with internal bleeding, necessitated a major surgery. “They went in for one operation — I got four free,” Roker joked with his colleagues, appearing in good spirits. Roberts stayed positive during the entire journey (“What Deborah did the most for me was — I had no idea how bad off I was. I thought I was doing pretty good,” Roker said), but the entire family was “on pins and needles,” Roberts said. The longtime Today host knew he would be home for Christmas, though. “Al and I were sitting there one day in the hospital, and through this very scratchy voice — and he was so gonked and exhausted — and he said, ‘I’m going to make a spatchcock turkey for Christmas,’” Roberts recounted.
Roker is happy to be back on the air. “My heart is just bursting,” he told his co-anchors. “I’m just so thrilled to see all of you and the crew and everybody. Right now, I’m running on adrenaline. I’m just thrilled to be here.”