NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel announced that his six-year-old son Henry has died following a years-long battle with Rett Syndrome.
"Our beloved son Henry passed away. 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. Mary and Richard," Engel wrote on Twitter.
When Henry was an infant, he was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that causes loss of motor function and speech and other cognitive deficits. In 2018, he was taken to Texas Children's Hospital's Duncan Neurological Research Institute, where doctors studied his condition in the hope of finding a treatment.
"Henry was special in so many ways. His loving and endearing smile, and the way he connected with his eyes, stole my heart from the time I met him. His quiet fight against this terrible disease was incredible. What is most amazing, 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," Dr. Huda Zoghbi, Founding Director of the Duncan NRI, said in a statement.