NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel was with U.S. troops when his toddler's doctor told him the results of a genetic scan, "Today" reported.
"'We found something. It’s very, very severe. It’s life long, not treatable,'" Engel recalled the doctor said. "I was in a state of shock. I got back into this convoy, shaking. It was the worst day of my life."
Engel and his wife, Mary Forrest, knew that something wasn't right with their son Henry, who at nearly 2 years old couldn't talk or clap his hands.
Henry has a genetic brain disorder, a variation of Rett syndrome. Doctors have said that Henry will probably never walk, talk or dress himself. His mental capacity will likely remain at the toddler level. His parents also have been warned to expect future health problems, such as seizures and rigidity.
Forrest and Engel are hoping for scientific progress, and are trying to make Henry’s life as normal as possible despite daily physiotherapy and hospital visits, according to "Today."
“It's made our relationship stronger actually. We're all we've got,” Engel said.