Richard Engel ha rivelato nel 2018 che suo figlio Henry aveva un raro disturbo neurologico. Quando il loro figlio aveva 18 mesi, Engel e sua moglie Mary Forrest hanno notato che non si stava sviluppando allo stesso ritmo degli altri bambini. Dopo averlo testato geneticamente, a Henry è stata diagnosticata la sindrome RETT. Questo è stato un colpo devastante per il giornalista della NBC, poiché significava che suo figlio sarebbe stato gravemente limitato nella mobilità per il resto della sua vita.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 lockdowns contributed to curtailing the youngster's therapy. "Henry has severe special needs, and COVID has been an absolute nightmare for him and millions of other children like him," the news anchor wrote in an essay for Today in 2020, as he listed several of Henry's physical limitations. Almost two years later, Engel had more discouraging news about his son's condition. 

Peter Engel shares how his son's health has worsened

On May 31, Richard Engel uploaded a touching video to Twitter of his two sons. In the clip, Engel's younger son Theo laid kisses on Henry's forehead, as the older brother was seen shaking. Alongside the video, the NBC news chief correspondent added an update on his son's health. "For everyone following Henry's story, unfortunately he's taken a turn for the worse," Engel wrote. "His condition progressed and he's developed dystonia: uncontrolled shaking/ stiffness." He added that the clip was taken after Henry was hospitalized for six weeks.

The replies to the tweet were filled with supportive words from fans. "I'm so sorry, such a terrible disease, such a lovely, beautiful child ... and sweet little brother too," one Twitter user responded. Others related to Engel by sharing their own family experiences coping with the same neurological disorder. "I was so lucky to have a sister who lived with RETT Syndrome. She changed our entire family's life for the better," a follower wrote. "As a Rett family this news hits home, we appreciate everything you and Mary are doing to help your Henry," another added.

It was not all disheartening news, however, as the following day Engel was able to share an encouraging development. He tweeted out a video of Henry sitting upright during a physical therapy session. "Today Henry was able to briefly support himself in a seated position during physio for the first time in a long time," the news correspondent wrote.

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