Richard Engel, the chief foreign correspondent of NBC News, has released a statement on Twitter saying that his son Henry, a six-year-old, has passed away. In his post, Engel, 48, has also shared a link to a memorial webpage created by Texas Children’s hospital where people can contribute towards further research to battle Rett syndrome, the disease that took young Henry away from his parents.

A genetic disorder, Rett syndrome can lead to patients losing the use of their have, developing problems with walking, having seizures and intellectual disability, and suffering from slowed brain growth.

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Who is Richard Engel?

A Manhattan, New York native, Engel himself suffered from dyslexia as a child and had troubles with his schoolwork while attending Riverdale Country School. However, attending a survival camp helped Engel gain more confidence, and he later got admission to Stanford University from where he earned an undergraduate degree in international relations.

Engel’s professional life began as an intern for CNN Business News. Later, joined The World as a Middle East correspondent. He also had stints with AFP, Reuters, USA Today, and as a freelance journalist for ABC News. He joined NBC as Chief Foreign Correspondent in April 2008.

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Engel has extensively covered some of the major 21st century events in the Middle East like the Iraq War, the Arab Spring, the 2006 Lebanon War, and the capture and execution of Saddam Hussein. During the Iraq War, Engel survived bombings, IED attacks, as well as an attempted kidnapping.

During the Arab Spring, Engel reported from Tahrir Square, Libya, and even Syria, where he travelled with members of the Free Syrian Army. In 2012, Engel was kidnapped in Syria along with five members of his crew. Five days later, a group called Ahrar al-Sham freed the crew.

Engel has won many awards, including a number of Emmys, for his reportage. He has also authored two books- Defeating ISIS: Who They Are, How They Fight, What They Believe and And Then All Hell Broke Loose: Two Decades in the Middle East.