Today show host Al Roker reveals he’s been off-air after being admitted to hospital with blood clot

Today show host Al Roker, 68, reveals he was hospitalized with blood clots in his leg and lungs – two years after his ‘aggressive’ prostate cancer diagnosis – but says he’s ‘on the way to recovery after some medical whack-a-mole’

  • Roker, 68, revealed he suffered from a blood clot in his leg that traveled to his lungs a few weeks ago and has been hospitalized since
  • The weather anchor has been missing from the show the past few weeks under the disguise of ‘not feeling well’ 
  • ‘After some medical whack-a-mole, I am so fortunate to be getting terrific medical care and on the way to recovery,’ he said
  • His Today show hosts also updated viewers on Friday, saying he has been in ‘good spirits’ and they all have ‘talked to him’ 
  • Roker has been the show’s weatherman since 1996 and his much-beloved colleague said they ‘missed’ him on-air today 
  • A blood clot in the leg can be very dangerous, as it can break up and travel to the lungs, which can be fatal 
  • Roker’s health scare comes two years after he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer and had surgery to remove his prostate 

Today show host Al Roker revealed he suffered from a blood clot in his leg that traveled to his lungs, but is finally on the road to recovery. 

The weatherman, who has worked for the network since 1996, has been missing from the show for the past few weeks under the disguise of ‘not feeling well.’ 

On Friday, Roker, 68, revealed on Instagram that he was ‘admitted to the hospital with a blood clot in my leg which sent some clots into my lungs.’ 

‘After some medical whack-a-mole, I am so fortunate to be getting terrific medical care and on the way to recovery,’ he said. ‘Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers and hope to see you soon.’ 

Today show host Al Roker revealed he suffered from a blood clot in his leg that traveled to his lungs a few weeks ago and has since been recovering in the hospital 

Roker updated his fans in an Instagram post (pictured) on Thursday, saying that 'after some medical whack-a-mole, I am so fortunate to be getting terrific medical care and on the way to recovery'

Roker updated his fans in an Instagram post (pictured) on Thursday, saying that ‘after some medical whack-a-mole, I am so fortunate to be getting terrific medical care and on the way to recovery’ 

He accompanied the update with a picture of the get-well-soon flowers he received and a weather cup featuring the show’s network NBC’s branding. 

His Today show hosts also updated viewers on Friday, saying he has been in ‘good spirits’ and they all have ‘talked to him.’ 

Dylan Dreyer even said when she spoke with him on the phone, his first question was about her children. 

‘Not that you need us to tell you how incredible Al is, the first time I called him, he immediately said: “Hey Dilly-Dill! How are the boys?”‘ 

Carson Daly joked his exercise motivation has plummeted since Roker went off-air as he always sees his cohost ‘walking to work’ and ‘on the treadmill.’

His cohost wished him well and shared that he was in 'good spirits'

His cohost wished him well, sharing that he is in ‘good spirits’ and it’s ‘hard to slow Al’ down

‘We need him back, he inspires me every day,’ he said on the show on Friday. ‘I haven’t done any exercises.’ 

Savannah Guthrie agreed, saying it’s ‘hard to slow Al’ down.

‘He’s on the mend and he’s on the way to recovery,’ she said on the show. ‘I don’t know if he watches this show but we love you, Al. We miss you.’ 

A blood clot in the leg can be very dangerous, as it can break up and travel to the lungs, as it did with Roker. 

Once a blood clot reaches the lunch, it causes a pulmonary embolism (PE), which can be fatal. 

Roker’s health scare comes over two years after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in September 2020. A routine physical revealed he had elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which is a screening tool for early detection.

Roker's health scare comes two years after he revealed on the show that he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer

Roker’s health scare comes two years after he revealed on the show that he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer 

In November 2020, Roker had his prostate and surrounding lymph nodes removed during a five-hour surgery at New York City's Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

 In November 2020, Roker had his prostate and surrounding lymph nodes removed during a five-hour surgery at New York City’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

A biopsy confirmed he had a more aggressive form of the disease, but, fortunately, it was caught early enough to be removed during surgery.

The Today star went public with his diagnosis on the show on November 6, 2020, three days before he underwent a five-hour surgery performed by Dr. Vincent Laudone at New York City’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

A week later he received a pathology report that found there was no evidence of cancer in his body outside of his prostate, which he had surgically removed along with the surrounding lymph nodes.

Roker continues to undergo regular testing to ensure his cancer hasn’t returned. 

In June, he opened up about how his children — Courtney, 35, Leila, 24, and Nick, 20 — reacted to his cancer diagnosis while filming a Father’s Day segment.

Roker shared photos of himself with his smiling wife, ABC News correspondent Deborah Roberts (pictured), and son, Nick, after he was released from the hospital

Roker shared photos of himself with his smiling wife, ABC News correspondent Deborah Roberts (pictured), and son, Nick, after he was released from the hospital 

A week after the surgery, Roker (pictured with his son Nick) received a pathology report that found there was no evidence of cancer in his body outside of his prostate

A week after the surgery, Roker (pictured with his son Nick) received a pathology report that found there was no evidence of cancer in his body outside of his prostate 

In June, he opened up about how his three kids - Courtney, 35, Leila, 24, and Nick, 20 - reacted to his cancer diagnosis, saying, 'It was the first time I saw fear in my children's eyes'

In June, he opened up about how his three kids – Courtney, 35, Leila, 24, and Nick, 20 – reacted to his cancer diagnosis, saying, ‘It was the first time I saw fear in my children’s eyes’

‘It was the first time I saw fear in my children’s eyes. I mean, they started crying,’ he told his co-stars and fellow dads Daly and Craig Melvin at Coney Island’s Luna Park. 

‘At the end of the day, that’s all you wanna do is protect them and shield them from hurt and/or harm,’ he explained. ‘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,’ he added, looking at Melvin, 43, and Daly, 49. ‘And that’s all we can do.’

That same month, Roker revealed on the show that he had lost roughly 45 pounds by combining a daily walking routine with a low-carb diet.

‘Exercise, and not extreme exercise — we’re doing that 30-day walking challenge — that improves, I think, your mental health,’ Roker said. ‘Combined with a low-carb diet, I’ve lost about 45 pounds in the last several months. I do about 100 grams of carbs a day and I walk.’

Roker is passionate about getting his daily steps in, and he often shares videos of his walks on his Instagram page, which has more than 864,000 followers

Roker is passionate about getting his daily steps in, and he often shares videos of his walks on his Instagram page, which has more than 864,000 followers 

The Today weather anchor revealed in June that he lost 'about 45 pounds' by walking and following a low-carb diet. He is pictured in February of this year

Roker is pictured in April of this year

The Today weather anchor revealed in June that he lost ‘about 45 pounds’ by walking and following a low-carb diet. He is pictured in February (L) and April (R) of this year

Hoda Kotb was quick to add that Roker does more than walk, saying he also incorporates weight training into his workouts.

‘I’m the oldest person here. I’m trying to last a little longer,’ he joked with his colleagues, who are all in their 40s and 50s.

In March, Roker celebrated the 20-year anniversary of his gastric bypass surgery, saying he will ‘never forget’ how far he has come since losing more than 100 pounds.

He marked the occasion on Instagram by sharing photos of himself with his old jeans to show how he is half the size he was two decades ago.

‘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,’ he added. ‘I have setbacks and struggle every day, but I never forget how far I’ve come.’ 

Roker used to weigh over 300 pounds before undergoing bariatric surgery in 2002 (pictured). He had promised his dying father, Albert Lincoln Roker Sr., he'd lose weight and get healthy

Roker used to weigh over 300 pounds before undergoing bariatric surgery in 2002 (pictured). He had promised his dying father, Albert Lincoln Roker Sr., he’d lose weight and get healthy 

Roker (pictured with his wife in December 2002) dropped down to 190 pounds after the surgery but regained about 50 pounds, which made him realize he need to overhaul his diet

Roker (pictured with his wife in December 2002) dropped down to 190 pounds after the surgery but regained about 50 pounds, which made him realize he need to overhaul his diet

Roker (pictured with Roberts in February) has continued to keep the weight off with regular exercise and healthy meals. In 2019, he lost 40 pounds on the high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet

Roker (pictured with Roberts in February) has continued to keep the weight off with regular exercise and healthy meals. In 2019, he lost 40 pounds on the high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet

The Today star candidly detailed his battle with binge eating and weight loss and how it had impacted his life, career, and marriage to TV journalist Deborah Roberts in his 2012 book ‘Never Goin’ Back: Winning the Weight Loss Battle for Good.’

‘My wife is a size 4; she runs, she works out and it became a problem in our marriage. On a Saturday she’d get up, get dressed to run and I’d be sitting on the couch or making breakfast for the kids and was quite happy about our choices. She, on the other hand, was not,’ he wrote in an essay for Today in 2013.

‘She was upset about it, she was frustrated, she was angry,’ he recalled. ‘She thought, “Why don’t you care enough about yourself and why don’t you care about me and our relationship enough to change?” And I said, “Look, it’s not about you. It’s about me.”‘

In Roker’s memoir, he explained how the turning point in his health journey came after he promised his dying father, Albert Lincoln Roker Sr., he’d lose weight.

‘I don’t know if you’ve ever had to make a deathbed promise to someone you love, but if you have, you know the kind of guilt and massive responsibility I felt in that moment,’ he wrote.

Roker has been candid about his weight loss over the years, and he celebrated the 20-year anniversary of his gastric bypass surgery on March 15

Roker has been candid about his weight loss over the years, and he celebrated the 20-year anniversary of his gastric bypass surgery on March 15

The Today weather anchor shared photos of himself with his old jeans to show how he is half the size he used to be

The Today weather anchor shared photos of himself with his old jeans to show how he is half the size he used to be 

Roker has continued to keep the weight off with regular exercise, including power walking, and healthy meals. In 2019, he lost 40 pounds on the high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet.

The ratio of fat to carbs and protein is 4:1 in the keto diet and the goal is to lose weight by achieving ketosis, a natural state in which the body is burning fat for energy rather than carbohydrates.

Roker fiercely defended the low-carb eating plan in 2019 after former Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels insisted it was a ‘bad’ diet ‘for a million reasons.’

In a scathing tweet, he accused her of promoting ‘on camera bullying, deprivation, manipulation and more’ as a coach on the weight-loss show.

‘What works for you, works for you,’ Roker later elaborated on the Today show. ‘There’s science on both sides that says it’s not a great idea and science that says it is a good idea.

‘I think it’s up to people — with their doctor, with their medical professional — [to make their own decision].’

WHAT IS A BLOOD CLOT? 

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms in one of the deep veins of your body, usually in the leg. 

Symptoms of a DVT include swelling, usually in the effected limb, leg pain or tenderness often described as a cramp, reddish or bluish skin discoloration and warm skin. 

Clots can break off from a DVT and travel to the lung, causing a pulmonary embolism (PE), which can be fatal. The signs and symptoms of a PE include sudden shortness of breath, chest pain-sharp, rapid heart rate and an unexplained cough, sometimes with bloody mucus.

The prevention and treatment of blood clots primarily involves blood thinning medication. Other interventions, including surgical procedures, implantable devices, or other medications may be needed.

Some of the most common risk factors for blood clots include:

  • Hospitalization for illness or surgery
  • Major surgery
  • Severe trauma
  • Injury to a vein caused by a broken bone or muscle injury 
  • Birth control or hormone therapy methods which contain estrogen
  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • A family history
  • Sitting for long periods of time 

Source: National Blood Clot Alliance

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