(CTN News) – Richard Engel, NBC News’ chief foreign correspondent, shared sad news Thursday that his 6-year-old son Henry had died. Richard Engel and his wife had been open about the child’s battle with a rare genetic condition.
“Our beloved son Henry passed away,” Richard Engel wrote on Twitter. “He had the softest blue eyes, an easy smile and a contagious giggle. We always surrounded him with love and he returned it, and so much more.”
Henry, who was born in September 2015, was just an infant when his parents first realized he was not reaching developmental milestones. This is according to a tribute to Henry on the Texas Children’s Hospital website.
Through a genetic test, doctors learned he had a mutation in his MECP2 gene. The mutation causes Rett syndrome, “a disorder that typically affects girls after their first birthday, rob them of learned skills and leaving them with cognitive deficits, loss of speech, and a variety of motor difficulties,” the hospital said.
Henry had been treated at Texas Children’s Hospital’s Duncan Neurological Research Institute since 2018.
“His loving and endearing smile, and the way he connected with his eyes, stole my heart from the time I met him,” Zoghbi said in a statement. “His quiet fight against this terrible disease was incredible.
What is most striking, however, is the impact Henry had on so many of us at the Duncan NRI and on our Rett research. We will continue to push as hard as possible to develop treatments. This is how we will honor his life.”
In another tweet on Thursday, Richard Engel said: “Researchers are making amazing progress using Henry’s cells to help cure RETT Syndrome so others don’t have to endure this terrible disease.”
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