Savannah Guthrie made a surprise appearance at the Today holiday party on Thursday after having eye surgery to repair her torn retina last week — but she won’t be returning to the show until after the new year.
The 47-year-old anchor, who is still on the mend, delighted her co-workers when she stopped by the early afternoon bash that was held at Catch Steak in New York City, telling them: ‘You are all a sight for a sore eye!’
Savannah brought her mother, Nancy Guthrie, to the work event, which was attended by her co-stars Hoda Kotb, Al Roker, Craig Melvin, Carson Daly, Jenna Bush Hager, Willie Geist, Sheinelle Jones, and Dylan Dreyer.
Work family: Savannah Guthrie made a surprise appearance at the Today holiday party on Thursday and posed for photos with Hoda Kotb, Jenna Bush Hager, and producer Libby Leist
All smiles: The 47-year-old anchor, who is recovering from eye surgery, took her mom, Nancy Guthrie (right) to the bash
The journalist took to Instagram on Thursday to share photos of herself with her Today family, starting with a picture of herself posing with Hoda, Jenna, and Today executive producer Libby Leist.
In the snapshot, Savannah is dressed up in a patterned dress with gold buttons and wearing her glasses while smiling brightly for the camera.
Other photos from the fête show her posing with her mom and standing next to Hoda, who has her arm wrapped around her shoulders.
‘Reunited and it feels so good. Loving up on my @todayshow girls at the TODAY holiday party,’ Savannah captioned the images.
Hoda, 55, shared similar snapshots on her Instagram, writing: ‘Lookie lookie who is on the mend! @savannahguthrie made it to the @todayshow Christmas party and then everything was right xoxo.’
Surprised: Hoda, 55, revealed on the Today show on Friday morning that they had no clue Savannah was going to stop by the party while still recovering from her surgery
Afternoon out! The party at Catch Steak in New York City started at 11:30 a.m. for the Today staffers who start work in the wee hours of the morning and lasted until 2:30 p.m.
The anchor revealed on the Today show on Friday morning that they had no clue Savannah was going to make it to the bash.
‘What a shocker, literally, because we didn’t know,’ Hoda said. ‘I was just tooling around, doing what we do at parties, and Savannah walked in and I said, “Oh my gosh!” What a great day. It was a lot of fun.’
The party started at 11:30 a.m. for the Today staffers who start work in the wee hours of the morning and lasted until 2:30 p.m., Page Six reported.
The celebration ended up being a reunion of sorts thanks to Savannah’s surprise appearance.
‘It’s the first time a lot of us have seen her since her eye surgery, and she was doing great,’ Willie, 44, explained on the show the next day.
‘She was there with her mom, Nancy, and she said, “You all are a sight for a sore eye,” singular,’ he recalled. ‘She’s only seeing out of one of them.’
So sweet: Hoda had her arm around Savannah while they enjoyed the holiday bash together
In recovery: Savannah shared this photo last week after revealing she needed to have eye surgery to repair her torn retina
Savannah’s vision troubles started last month when her three-year-old son, Charley, threw a toy train at her eye and tore her retina.
Despite her vision loss, she returned to work for one day following the injury, but she ended up having to take time off.
While doctors initially hoped they could repair the retina with multiple laser sessions, it was ultimately decided that surgery was her best option.
After the procedure, Savannah shared a snapshot of the sign her five-year-old daughter, Vale, hung on her bedroom door, which read: ‘Nobody can come into my mommy’s room.’
‘This is my “out of office” message. Turns out I had to have surgery today because I had a massive tear in my retina and retina detachment. I am home resting for a while,’ she explained in the caption. ‘Very grateful to my doctors, prayers of good friends and my husband @feldmike who has swooped in like a superhero.’
The mother of two also posted a photo of herself sitting face down in a chair to help her torn retina recover from the surgery.
The culprit: The journalist suffered the injury last month when her son, Charley, (pictured on his third birthday) threw a toy train at her eye
Trouble: Doctors wanted to avoid surgery because of the lengthy recovery, but Charley’s train (pictured) damaged Savannah’s eye so badly that she ultimately needed the procedure
Savannah called into the Today show on Wednesday to give fans an update on her progress following her retinal detachment surgery, admitting that she still didn’t have vision in her injured eye.
‘I don’t have my vision back yet, but I’m going to get it back,’ she told her co-hosts. ‘Everything’s on track.’
Although she had a positive outlook, the Today star admitted that the recovery hasn’t been easy, especially because she had to remain face down for the first couple of days following the procedure.
‘The hardest part is sitting still, keeping your head down. You kind of get a neck and a backache. I can’t say it was easy…but it’s manageable and it’s all going to turn out OK,’ she said.
Savannah noted the ‘hardest part’ was sleeping on her stomach because she was worried she was ‘doing it wrong.’
When her co-hosts asked when she will be returning to the show, she said it probably won’t be until after the holidays.
Update: Savannah called into the Today show on Wednesday morning to give fans an update on her recovery after her surgery
Expert: Savannah’s surgeon, Dr. Donald D’Amico, also appeared on the show to explain how he went about repairing her torn retina
‘I was kind of wishing I could come in at the end of this week, but the truth is I still can’t see out of that right eye and also it looks a little weird,’ she said. ‘When the surgery was first done I looked like I got punched in the face…it was very swollen.
‘Now it looks pretty normal, but I can’t see,’ she added. ‘The short answer is I think I’m gonna come [back] after the holidays.’
As for what she’d been doing during her week off, Savannah revealed it’s been a lot of Netflix watching and relaxing in bed.
‘I didn’t have like a spiritual breakthrough that I thought I might. I binge-watched Netflix,’ she detailed over the phone. ‘A couple times when I was laying on my back I had a masseuse come over and give me a massage. And in the in-between, I just go about my business and I organized my drawers.’
The Today show also had on Savannah’s surgeon, Dr. Donald D’Amico of Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, to better explain exactly what he did to repair the torn retina.
‘Her retina was torn. The retina lines the inside back of the eye like wallpaper,’ he explained. ‘When the retina is torn, it begins to fall off the back of the eye and you lose vision.
Out of office: Savannah’s five-year-old daughter, Vale, hung this sign on her mom’s bedroom door after her surgery
Yikes: Savannah told viewers she would probably not return to the Today show until after the holidays as she continues to recover
‘Fortunately for Savannah, the tear was at the side of her retina and not the very center, so the prospect for her central vision to return is very good.’
A gas bubble was placed in the back of Savannah’s eye to help her retina slowly reattach to the back of her eye, which is why she had to lie face down for most of the day.
‘You think of how you would put a poster on the wall,’ Dr. D’Amico said. ‘We’ve all put a poster on the wall with glue. You have to hold it for a few minutes or seconds in order to get it to stick.
‘The bubble holds the retina reattached in the eye, and as the bubble goes away by the body absorbing it, the laser treatment and the freezing treatment provide the permanent scar that keeps it stable.’
Savannah remains optimistic about recovery and is confident she will be fine even if her vision in her right eye doesn’t completely recover.
‘I feel much better now, even though the recovery is not very pleasant,’ she said. ‘It feels like it’s almost over. I know one day we’re going to laugh about this — and that day is getting closer all the time.’