“Al’s recent hospitalization was very scary. [He] counts himself so lucky to have gotten speedy treatment and knows that ultimately he’s lucky to be alive,” the insider tells Us of the 68-year-old Today Show meteorologist. “He’s been so brave throughout this, never complaining or feeling overly sorry for himself, always wanting to know how others are doing even when he’s at his lowest. Right now he’s following all the doctors’ advice.”
“So many of you have been thoughtfully asking where I’ve been. Last week I was admitted to the hospital with a blood clot in my leg which sent some clots into my lungs,” Roker wrote via Instagram at the time. “After some medical whack-a-mole, I am so fortunate to be getting terrific medical care and on the way to recovery. Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers and hope to see you soon.”
The New York native ultimately needed to undergo surgery, resulting in Roker missing that November’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time in 27 years.
The TV journalist was admitted to the hospital several days later following complications.
“It’s been a tough slog, I’m not gonna deny this,” Roker said during a virtual appearance on Today at the time. “It’s been the hardest one yet, and you know I’ve had my share of surgeries. I’m doing physical therapy every day, occupational therapy. I’ve got to just get my strength back. … I feel good. I feel strong. Every day I feel a little bit better.”
The weatherman — who has been married to Deborah Roberts since September 1995 — ultimately returned to Today on January 6.
“I lost half my blood. [My doctors] were trying to figure out where it was,” he said during his first broadcast back, revealing his surgeons found that he had two bleeding ulcers and discovered that they needed to resect his colon and remove his gallbladder. “I really do feel good. I’m sure I’m going to collapse like a stone after this is over because this is the first work I’ve done. It’s been a journey.”
He continued at the time: “Thank God for Deborah. She basically shielded me from a lot of this. I had no idea how sick I was. I am living example of ignorance is bliss. I was able to put all my energy into just recuperating because I didn’t know how bad off I was.”
Roker — who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2020, which resulted in surgical intervention — has since remained focused on regaining his strength. He’s “trying” to gain back the weight he lost amid the health scare in a “sustained and healthy way,” the source tells Us.
“There’s still a ways to go as far as his recovery,” the insider adds, noting Roker has been “so happy” to return to Today. “He’s participating in physio and staying as active as possible, getting plenty of exercise but not over-doing it. … He’s very happy and grateful to be slowly getting back to normal.”
For more on the Roker’s recovery, watch the video above and pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.