Hoda Kotb returns to ‘Today’ and reveals her 3-year-old daughter was hospitalized

“Today” co-anchor Hoda Kotb returned to the NBC morning program Monday after a prolonged absence and revealed that her 3-year-old daughter was recently hospitalized.

Kotb explained on air that her youngest child, Hope, was in the intensive care unit “for a few days and in the hospital for a little more than a week” after falling ill. Last week, “Today” co-anchor Craig Melvin told viewers Kotb was dealing with “a family health matter” amid mounting concern for the absent newscaster.

“I’m so grateful she’s home,” Kotb said Monday while updating viewers on her daughter’s condition. “She is back home. I was waiting for that day to come, and we are watching her closely. I’m just so happy.”

Prior to this week, Kotb hadn’t appeared live on “Today” since Feb. 17. For a while, the veteran broadcast journalist, mother and breast cancer survivor’s mysterious hiatus went unexplained, prompting fans to flood her social media pages with messages of love and support.

Kotb’s co-anchor, Savannah Guthrie, was also back in the studio Monday after exiting the show mid-broadcast last week and testing positive for COVID-19.

“What I realized too Savannah is, when your child is ill, the amount of gratitude you can have for people who helped you out,” Kotb said Monday. “I’m grateful for the doctors at Weill Cornell [Medicine] who were amazing — and the nurses. And I’m grateful to my family, and I’m grateful to friends like you who were there every single day. So I want to say thank you for that. … I love you.”

“I love you too,” Guthrie said as Kotb fought back tears. “You have a lot of friends out there lifting you up, and Hope too.”