Richard Engel pays touching tribute to his late son “Binks”: ‘Henry would have turned 7 today’

Henry Engel, the son of Richard Engel, a top foreign reporter for NBC News, would have been 7 on September 30. The journalist sent an endearing tribute to his late son along with a precious image of him. He described the youngster in a tweet as “Henry would have turned 7 today. A big thank you to everyone who sent kind and thoughtful messages, and donated to support medical research to defeat Rett Syndrome. Happy Birthday Binks!”

According to TODAY, Henry passed away on August 9 after suffering from the uncommon neurological disorder Rett’s syndrome for roughly 4 years. Richard tweeted the distressing information and referred to the kid’s smile as “contagious.” “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.”

Rett syndrome, which causes the loss of motor skills including walking and speaking, is described by the Mayo Clinic. Since the illness is progressive, it may eventually cause cognitive problems. There are no known causes, therapies, or cures for Rett syndrome. Days after Henry died away, Richard revealed that scientists are advancing their efforts to treat the disease by utilizing Henry’s cells in research. He urged others to contribute to the study.

The parents believed Henry was merely a “late bloomer” and asked for DNA testing after he failed to meet developmental milestones like walking or talking. However, medical professionals cautioned that Henry would have significantly diminished mental and physical capacities. Henry has Rett syndrome, a rare neurological disorder, which Richard learned about around Henry’s second birthday. The day Richard and Mary received the diagnosis was the most difficult moment of their lives. “I called the doctor and he said, ‘We found something. It’s very, very severe. It’s lifelong, not treatable. I was in a state of shock.”

Richard and his wife, though, were incredibly hopeful and gave their child as much love as they could. In a touching piece that appeared on TODAY Parents in 2018, Engel stated, “None of this means we don’t enjoy our time with Henry. I can’t imagine a child who is showered with more love. We gather on our bed several times a day for what we call ‘cuddle parties,’ where we kiss him, rub him, praise him (he loves to hear his name and be praised) and curl his thick, gorgeous hair in our fingers.”

In March 2019, Engel revealed the good news that Henry had used the word “‘Dada’. He didn’t just say it once, but two or three times. There was an urgency and excitement to it. Having a special needs child makes you savor the patches of sunshine you cross on the hard, and often lonely, road toward a cure: the doctor’s visits that don’t go as badly as expected, a solid night’s sleep, or a Dada three and a half years in the making.”