Jimmy Kimmel Opens Up About His Baby Boy's Heart Condition
The talk show host tearfully revealed on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" that his newborn son Billy had open heart surgery last week to correct a birth defect.
Jimmy Kimmel took to the stage last night to officially announce during his monologue that he and his wife Molly McNearney had welcomed their second child together—a baby boy named Billy—a little over a week ago. But by the time he got the first sentence out, the normally upbeat host was already choking back tears.
"It was an easy delivery—six pushes, he was out," Kimmel began. "He appeared a normal, healthy baby, until about three hours after he was born...when a very attentive nurse was checking him out and heard a murmur in his heart."
She also noticed that Billy was a bit purple, so she took him to the NICU, where it was eventually determined that the little guy wasn't getting enough oxygen in his blood. "It's a terrifying thing," Kimmel admitted tearfully. "You know, my wife is back in the recovery room, she has no idea what's going on. And I'm standing in the middle of a lot of very worried-looking people who are trying to figure out what the problem is."
Turns out, Kimmel's son was born with congenital heart disease, and there was a hole in the wall between the left and right sides of his heart. So they put Billy in an ambulance to Children's Hospital Los Angeles, where he underwent open-heart surgery.
"It was the longest three hours of my life," Kimmel said. But the surgery was successful, and six days after he was born, the adorable little dude was finally able to leave the hospital and go home (though he will need another surgery three to six months from now, and another hopefully non-invasive procedure later, in his teens).
"Poor kid," Kimmel then joked. "Not only did he get a bad heart, he got my face."
That may be true, but we still think he's a handsome little guy!
Kimmel then went on to thank his family and friends for their support, before launching into a tearful appeal to save health care in light of President Donald Trump's original budget proposal to cut $6 billion from the National Institutes of Heath, which has awarded millions of dollars in grants over the years to Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
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"You know, before 2014, if you were born with congenital heart disease like my son was, there was a good chance you would never be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition," he explained. "If your baby is going to die, and it doesn't have to, it shouldn't matter how much money you make. I think that's something that, whether you're a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right? This isn't football. There are no teams. WE are the team. No parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child's life."
Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and mom of two who writes about parenting and pop culture. Check out her website holleeactmanbecker.com for more, and then follow her on Instagram and Twitter.