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‘Terrified’ Hoda Kotb Had Ex-Fiance Joel Schiffman By Her ‘Side’ Amid Daughter Hope’s ICU Stay (Exclusive)

Worried for her baby. Hoda Kotb took a leave of absence from Today while her 3-year-old daughter Hope was hospitalized in the ICU.

Related: Her Loved Ones! See Hoda Kotb's Family Album: Pics

“Hoda had been terrified for Hope the last couple of weeks,” a source exclusively reveals in the new issue of Us Weekly. “Hoda has dropped everything and focused on being there for her youngest — by her hospital bed — and taking care of anything she could need. Hope is better now and recovering at home.”

The insider added that the broadcast journalist, 58, had the support of her ex-fiancé, Joel Schiffman — with whom she shares Hope and older daughter Haley, 6, — and coanchor Savannah Guthrie during the challenging time.

“Joel has been by their side as well,” the source said of the financier, who split from Kotb in December 2021 after eight years together. “Savannah [and Hoda] are truly great friends on and off camera and Savannah was constantly checking in and seeing how she could help in anyway.”

Kotb sparked concern among fans after taking an extended hiatus from Today beginning in February. Substitute anchors Craig Melvin and Sheinelle Jones explained her absence on March 1, when the Oklahoma native had been off the air for over a week.

Related: Today’s Hoda Kotb and Joel Schiffman’s Relationship Timeline

“We know a lot of you have been wondering how she’s doing. We can tell you that Hoda’s OK. She’s got a family health matter that she’s been dealing with, so we look forward to seeing Hoda and Savannah back at the desk real, real soon,” Melvin, 43, explained during the program.

Hoda Kotb Terrified for Daughter Hope as She and Ex Joel Schiffman Took Care of Her
Matt Baron/Shutterstock

Joel Schiffman and Hoda Kotb

Kotb returned to the morning talk show on Monday, March 6, and opened up about her daughter’s health scare.

“My youngest [daughter], Hope, was in the ICU for a few days and in the hospital for a little more than a week,” the Emmy winner told Guthrie, 51. “I’m so grateful she’s home. … I was waiting for that day to come. And we are watching her closely. I’m just so happy.”

The former Dateline NBC correspondent also expressed gratitude for family and friends who were there for her amid the family crisis.

Related: Hoda Kotb's Ups and Downs: Joel Schiffman Split, 'Today' Absence and More

“When your child is ill, the amount of gratitude you can have for people who helped you out … I’m grateful for the doctors at Weill Cornell who were amazing and the nurses,” she said, getting choked up. “And I’m grateful to my family.”

Hoda Kotb Terrified for Daughter Hope as She and Ex Joel Schiffman Took Care of Her 2
Courtesy of Hoda Kotb/Instagram


The This Just Speaks to Me author then directly addressed Guthrie. “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,” she emphasized.

For more on Kotb’s life with her daughters, watch the video above and pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.

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