Al Roker

Al Roker Has Health Setback After Leaving Hospital on Thanksgiving Day

Al Roker is a producer, an actor, and most famously, a Today show anchor and meteorologist. Roker has always been open about his health journey with his viewers, starting with his gastric bypass surgery in 2002. He used the opportunity to talk about his diet and exercise routines online. He also announced his prostate cancer diagnosis in 2020, and advocated for people to get tested. However, his most recent health scare was a blood clot in his leg and lungs, which kept him in the hospital over Thanksgiving, forcing him to miss his first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 27 years.


Al Roker is Hospitalized for Blood Clots

Roker, 68, managed to go home on November 24 to spend the holiday with his family. But further blood clot complications brought him back to the hospital less than a day later. During his first hospitalization, he informed his followers about his health on Instagram. “So many of you have been thoughtfully asking where I’ve been. Last week I was admitted to the hospital with a blood clot in my leg, which sent some clots into my lungs,” he wrote. “After some medical whack-a-mole, I am so fortunate to be getting terrific medical care and on the way to recovery. Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers and hope to see you soon. Have a great weekend, everyone.” [1]

Viewers became increasingly concerned about Roker, who had to miss covering the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and then the lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. His co-hosts, Hoda Kotb and Craig Melvin, spoke to Roker on FaceTime during the tree lighting, and he gave them “a big thumbs up,” the hosts report. “But, due to some complications, he is back in the hospital, and he is in very good care. He’s resting and his doctors are keeping a close eye on him. Al and his family want everyone to know how grateful they are for all the love, the support and the well wishes.


Roker’s daughter, Leila, thanked her followers for the support after her father returned to the hospital. “Thank you to all the wonderful friends and family who have reached out,” she wrote on her Instagram story. “We really appreciate it.

Roker’s wife, Deborah Roberts, hinted at a positive update last week on her Instagram Stories. First, she posted a photo of her coffee with the caption “Faith= and gratitude.” Later, she posted about the Georgia Bulldogs’ win against the LSU Tigers. “A good day all around!” she wrote, perhaps indicating good news regarding Al. [2]

As of December 8th, Roker is now home from the hospital again, after informing his fans and followers on Instagram.

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Previous Health Scares

This is Al Roker’s second health scare in two years after his prostate cancer diagnosis in September 2020. A routine physical caught the cancer, and a biopsy confirmed that he had an aggressive variation. Fortunately, it was caught early and removed with surgery. Roker spoke about his diagnosis in November 2020, only three days before the five-hour procedure. A week later, a pathology report declared him cancer-free and he has attended regular screenings ever since.

For a Father’s Day segment in June, he spoke about talking about his cancer diagnosis to his kids, Courtney, 35, Leila, 24, and Nick, 20. “It was the first time I saw fear in my children’s eyes. I mean, they started crying,” he said. “At the end of the day, that’s all you wanna do is protect them and shield them from hurt and/or harm. And at that moment, I realized you can’t always do that. But you can do the best you can. That’s what I know our fathers did. And that’s all we can do.” [3]


Roker’s Weight-Loss Journey

That same month, he discussed his health again; this time, he spoke about how he lost about 45 pounds after starting a low-carb diet and walking daily. He had gone into detail about his weight journey in his 2012 memoir Never Goin’ Back: Winning the Weight-Loss Battle for Good. He weighed 340 pounds before his gastric bypass surgery in 2002. After that, he lost 100 pounds, but five years later, a family crisis revived his old eating habits, and he gained most of the weight back. However, he has since changed his diet and mindset toward food and exercise and encourages viewers to also make healthy lifestyle choices. [4]

In March, Roker celebrated the 20th anniversary of his gastric bypass with an Instagram post of his old jeans, showing his dramatic weight loss. “Hard to believe it was 20 years ago today, I wore these size 54 Levi jeans to my #gastricbypass at 340 lbs and here I am today,’ he wrote in the caption. “It’s still a struggle but I’m never going back. I have setbacks and struggle every day, but I never forget how far I’ve come.”

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  1. “Al Roker’s Health Journey Over the Years, in His Own Words.People. Kelsie Gibson. December 2, 2022
  2. “Al Roker returns to social media with emotional tribute from his NBC co-stars.” Hello Magazine. Hanna Fillingham. December 6, 2022
  3. “Al Roker is STILL in hospital a week after being rushed back due to blood clots – as Today co-host Hoda Kotb reveals she FaceTimed him from Thanksgiving Parade and says he’s ‘very grateful’ for support.Daily Mail. Aneeta Bhole. December 2, 2022
  4. “How Al Roker Lost 135 Pounds and Gained Faith in Himself.Parade. Meryl Gordon. December 30, 2012