Al Roker celebrates 69th birthday following terrifying health scare – “grateful to be alive”

Al Roker is celebrating life on his 69th birthday, one year after a terrifying health scare that saw him fighting to stay alive.

The beloved TV personality – who has worked as a weather presenter on NBC’s Today show since 1996 – first sparked concern among fans last year when he had not appeared on the show for two weeks. 

He soon cleared up the mystery around his absence, releasing a statement on his personal Instagram page that revealed he’d suffered a health scare. The caption read: “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.”

He continued: “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. Have a great weekend, everyone.”

It wasn’t until he sat back down with his Today co-hosts that he revealed he suffered internal bleeding and required surgery. “I went into for one operation, I got four free,” he said.

His medical team at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center discovered two bleeding ulcers. As part of a seven-hour surgery they resectioned his colon, took out his gallbladder, and redid a part of his small intestine.

“(We) were extraordinarily concerned about Al,” Dr. Felice H. Schnoll-Sussman, Al’s gastroenterologist, told Today. “Extraordinarily concerned. He had a life-threatening experience. I mean, there’s just no doubt about that.”

“He was a medical mystery for a couple of weeks,” Roberts said of her husband’s health scare. “It was the most tumultuous, frightening journey we have ever been on.”

“He is a living, breathing miracle,” she said. “He really is, and I have to say — I’m not overstating it, I don’t think — Al was a very, very, very sick man. And I think most people did not know that.”

Now, as Roker celebrates turning another year older, he’s reflected on his life and how lucky he feels to still be around.

In a new Instagram video, he said: “This is my 69th anniversary of orbiting the sun and after everything that I went through at the end of last year I am more than grateful to be celebrating this birthday.”

He added: “And to all of you who sent good wishes and well wishes over the past year, god bless you. Thank you so much. I appreciate it,” also thanking his wife Deborah Roberts, 62, and his three kids Courtney, 36, Leila, 24, and Nick, 21, as well as his new granddaughter Sky.

“A lot to be grateful for on this birthday and [I’m] glad to be alive,” he stated. “Thank you and take care. Have a great Sunday!”

Well, we are just as happy to see Al Roker out and about and celebrating his birthday. After everything he’s been through, it’s lovely to see him in such a positive mindset!