Al Roker was filled with gratitude while celebrating his 69th birthday after last year’s near-fatal health scare that left him hospitalized.
On Sunday, the TODAY co-anchor kicked off “another trip around the sun” by posting an Instagram video of himself on a nature walk, expressing how glad he is to be alive after last year’s health problems.
“This is my 69th anniversary of orbiting the sun,” Roker began. “And after everything I went through at the end of last year, I am more than grateful.”
Roker, who beat prostate cancer in 2020, suffered new health issues last November when he woke up in the middle of the night with severe stomach pains. His internist determined that he had blood clots in his lungs and Roker was released after treatment — but was soon readmitted to the hospital for a 7-hour surgery.
It turned out that the bleeding was due to a perforation in his duodenum, the first part of the small intestine. His medical team repaired it, resectioned part of his colon and removed his gallbladder.
“I’m blessed to be alive,” he told PEOPLE exclusively at the time. He thanked his wife Deborah on Sunday for “getting him out of the hospital.”
A little over six months later, on July 3, Roker was able to experience the joy of becoming a first-time grandfather. “I could look into this face all day,” he captioned his first post of Sky Clara later that month.
In a new photo posted on Sunday, the TV personality held his granddaughter, who was dressed in a red onesie with a white bow around her head.
“Best #birthdaypresent,” Roker captioned the photo of his 36-year-old daughter Courtney’s first baby.
Roker and his family had dinner at Bimi’s Canteen & Bar in Hudson, New York, where the weatherman has a home with his wife Deborah Roberts, 62. Then they took their son Nicholas, 21, to college.
“Back to the #emptynest after dropping our young man at college for sophomore year,” he wrote next to a photo with Deborah and Nicholas. The couple also shares a third child, Leila, 24.