NBC News’ chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel and his wife Mary Forrest are mourning the death of their 6-year-old son Henry, after his battle with a rare neurological disorder, Rett syndrome. The couple has another son, Theo. Get to know his family, here.

Richard and Mary’s Eldest Son Henry Died After a Lifelong Battle With Rett Syndrome

“Our beloved son Henry passed away. He had the softest blue eyes, an easy smile and a contagious giggle,” the couple announced via Twitter on August 18. He had suffered from developmental disorders all of his life and was diagnosed with Rett syndrome in 2017.

Richard and Mary Cherished Every Moment With Henry

When Henry was 3 years old, Richard penned an essay about how emotional he became when his son said “Dada” for the first time. “His physical and mental development aren’t on pace with other children. So, when I got the Dada from him, I went a little wild,” the journalist wrote in the piece published on Today.

“To parents with typically developing children, a little Dada may not seem like a big deal. But for me it was a validation, an acknowledgement that he’s in there, knows me, knows that his mother and I are forces for good in his life, and above all, that he loves us,” he continued.

Richard acknowledged that his son was “probably not going to walk, probably not going to speak, probably not going to have any mental capacity beyond the level of a 2-year-old.”

Richard and Wife Mary Have Been Married Since 2015

The foreign correspondent wed TV producer Mary Forrest on May 29, 2015, in a civil ceremony at New York City Hall. The pair had met five years prior when Mary was working on Martha Stewart‘s daytime talk show and Richard appeared as a guest.

At the time, the newsman tweeted his wedding announcement: “So happy. Just got married! To @MaryKForrest. My longtime love and girlfriend.” Mary was already pregnant with Henry at the time, and the couple welcomed their first child on September 29, 2015.

Richard and Mary Have a Second Son, Theo

The couple welcomed their red-haired little boy in August 2019. The Monday following his weekend birth, Richard revealed the news on the Today Show, sharing a photo holding Theo in the hospital wrapped in a blanket with a blue knit beanie on his head.

“Mary and I are so excited to introduce our new son Theodore (Theo),” Richard told the show via email. “He’s healthy, happy (unless you unwrap his swaddle) and thirsty. We couldn’t be more in love. And now Henry is a big brother, too.”

“Life has twists, turns and new beginnings. This is Theo’s first chapter, and a new one for our family. We’re excited, nervous and thankful,” he added.

Theo Loved His Big Brother Henry

Richard shared a tender Twitter video in May 2022 of Theo giving his bedridden brother sweet kisses after Henry took a turn for the worse.  Following a six-week hospitalization, the reporter noted that his son was “now home and getting love from brother Theo.”