Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Hoda Kotb's emotional first interview about daughter's health diagnosis - 'I don’t want people to look at her differently.'

The Today host's youngest child was admitted to hospital last year 

Hoda Kotb on Wednesday, October 18, 2023
Hannah Hargrave
US Deputy Editor
6 March 2024
Share this:

Hoda Kotb has spoken in depth about the challenges she faced when her daughter, Hope, four, was admitted to the ICU last year.

In an emotional interview with People, the Today star said she wanted to protect her youngest child from "grown-up worry" as they navigated caring for her.

It was one year ago that Hoda took a lengthy absence from the NBC show to care for Hope who was experiencing a medical crisis. 

The little girl was admitted to ICU and spent two weeks in hospital.

"We had a scary stretch," Hoda confessed to the outlet. "Any parent who's been through a scary thing with their child understands. It's like you just can't believe that your child's sick. You can't believe that there's nothing you can do. 

Hoda with her daughters
Hoda with her daughters

"You can't believe that no matter what you do, you can’t will it away or protect her, or all the things that we’re supposed to be doing as parents. And it's a position I’ve never found myself in."

Hoda - who shares Hope and her sister Haley, with her ex-fiance, Joel Schiffman - decided not to divulge what her daughter's diagnosis is but said she is monitored and "things have stabilized."

View post on Instagram

She has hired help to juggle the demands of her family and her career but says her top priority is maintaining a sense of normality in their home. 

Hoda said: "It's really tricky, because I don’t want Hope to get labeled. She's a kid who is so vibrant, and most days everything is totally fine. I don’t want people to look at her differently." 

It's hard for Hoda too, and she says she no longer sleeps through the night as she's listening for Hope's monitors to go off. 

Hoda Kotb's ex Joel Schiffman with their daughters
Hoda ex Joel Schiffman with their daughters

But she tries not to show concern in front of her children. 

"I’m not going to put my worry on her. It's too much for a kid to carry," Hoda added. 

Joel has been a huge help and continues to be a hands-on parent, taking the girls to school while Hoda aims to do pick-up.

Hoda Kotb with her family, including her brother Adel, on his birthday
Hoda is so thankful for all the support she has had from family and friends

When Hope was taken ill last year, Hoda wrote her children's book, Hope Is a Rainbow, which is dedicated to her youngest. 

"The book was written initially because of who she is. I thought her goodness should be spread around," said Hoda who described Hope as being, "intuitive and smart, and I’ve never seen someone who’s quite as generous".

While they still have a way to go, Hoda is confident Hope's experience will make her stronger. 

Hoda spends Christmas with her daughters© @hodakotb Instagram
She's cherishing every moment with her kids

"I look at her, and I think, 'Wow, you blossomed into this incredible kid who is so resilient and well-equipped for her whole life despite this stuff that has happened to her,'" Hoda described tearfully. "She just demonstrates that when you have whatever she has inside of her, this will, this fight, this everything she can withstand anything. 

"This child is going to have the easiest adulthood because she’s had a tough go of it early on."

Get the lowdown on the biggest, hottest celebrity news, features and profiles coming out of the U.S.  Sign up to our HELLO! Hollywood newsletterand get them delivered straight to your inbox. 

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.

More Parenting

See more