Like mother, like daughter. Hoda Kotb has always shown strength on and off camera — and her two girls are following in her footsteps after their family’s recent health scare.
“My daughters are strong women already,” Kotb, 58, said during the Tuesday, April 25, episode of Southern Living‘s “Biscuits & Jam” podcast.
The Today show cohost, who shares Haley, 6, and Hope, 3, with ex-fiancé Joel Schiffman, noted that Hope’s hospitalization in February proved her little one is a fighter. (Kotb’s youngest child was discharged from the ICU in March after an undisclosed illness.)
“She’s getting better,” Kotb explained, confessing that watching Hope go through that “difficult time” at such a young age was “really tough” because as the parent she was “helpless.”
Looking back, the journalist said she realized “just how incredibly resilient and strong she is … And I think sometimes you learn life’s lessons from the most amazing places.”
Kotb recalled her daughter’s wise words during her hospital stay, which lasted a little more than one week.
“Hope said, ‘You know, I think God put me here to teach people things.’ I said, ‘What? What? What?’ She said, ‘Yeah, because my brain’s pretty big so I think I’m supposed to teach people things,’” the I Really Needed This Today author told listeners on Tuesday. “I said, ‘Sweetie, you are gonna teach people things.’”
The Today With Hoda & Jenna cohost remembered that moment having after midnight in the hospital.
“She’s blurting that out, I’m like, ‘Was that real? What just happened? Did she say that?,’” Kotb said with a laugh. “It’s like, learn from our kids. And all we have to do is model, we don’t have to teach anything. Just be you. Be you or be a better version of you. And then learn from them.”
The Oklahoma native raised eyebrows earlier this year when she was missing from several tapings of her NBC broadcasts beginning on February 17. It wasn’t until the March 1 episode of Today that Kotb’s coworker Craig Melvin reassured viewers that “Hoda’s OK. She’s got a family health matter that she’s been dealing with.”
The Emmy winner returned to set on March 6 and detailed Hope’s scary visit to the hospital, which included “a few days” in the ICU and at least a week stay. “I’m so grateful she’s home. … I was waiting for that day to come,” Kotb told her cohosts and the audience in March. “And we are watching her closely. I’m just so happy.”
Through all the ups and downs, both Kotb and Schiffman, 65, were by Hope’s beside as she battled through her symptoms. (The former couple called it quits in January 2022 after eight years together.)
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“Hoda has dropped everything and focused on being there for her youngest — by her hospital bed — and taking care of anything she could need,” a source exclusively told Us Weekly last month. “Hope is better now and recovering at home.”
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