Richard Engel ha ricevuto notizie devastanti che nessun genitore dovrebbe mai provare. Secondo NBC News, suo figlio Henry Engel è stato portato in ospedale per la prima volta da bambino dopo che il giornalista e sua moglie hanno notato diversi ritardi nello sviluppo. Dopo diversi test medici e genetici, i medici hanno concluso che Henry aveva una mutazione nel suo gene MECP2 che sfortunatamente causa la sindrome di Rett. La sindrome di Rett è “un raro disturbo genetico neurologico e dello sviluppo che colpisce il modo in cui il cervello si sviluppa”, secondo la Mayo Clinic.
Although Richard and his family were trying their best to remain positive, Henry's condition took a tragic turn for the worse.
Henry Engel died at the age of 6
Richard Engel announced on social media that his 6-year-old son Henry Engel has died after an aggressive battle with Rett syndrome, a rare brain disorder. "He had the softest blue eyes, an easy smile and a contagious giggle," NBC news correspondent wrote on Twitter. Dr. Huda Zoghbi worked closely with Henry and also shared some of his fondest memories with him. "His loving and endearing smile, and the way he connected with his eyes, stole my heart from the time I met him," she wrote in a statement. "We will continue to push as hard as possible to develop treatments. This is how we will honor his life."
Just two months prior to Henry's passing, the Richard revealed his son's condition was quickly getting worse. "His condition progressed and he's developed dystonia: uncontrolled shaking/ stiffness," Richard tweeted. As a result, Henry needed additional care and had to be hospitalized for six weeks.
Richard also announced on Twitter that researches are working to find a cure for Rett syndrome and are using Henry's cells in the process.