Since welcoming his son William "Billy" John seven months ago, Jimmy Kimmel has been particularly outspoken about the multiple attempts by Republicans to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and cut the budget of the National Institutes of Health. He was driven to take a stand after his little boy with wife Molly McNearney was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect (the Tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia) and underwent an emergency heart surgery just three days after his birth. Now, ABC has released a statement updating Kimmel's audience on Billy's health, noting that the baby underwent a second successful surgery.
The network shared that guest hosts will be filling in as Kimmel spends time with his family this week.
In keeping his audience abreast of his L.O.'s health, Kimmel had explained that Billy would require a second surgery around the time he was six months. So, hearing that the operation is not only done but went well hopefully offers Kimmel, McNearney, and everyone who's followed their journey a huge sigh of relief.
It was back on May 1 that Kimmel first shared his family's health scare. According to The Hollywood Reporter, McNearney, who serves as producer and co-head writer on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, was aware he would open up on the air, but she wasn't prepared for just how emotional -- and viral -- the moment would become. “I didn’t get one [email] with the monologue for that night," she shared. Instead, Kimmel told her, "I just want you to watch."
“So, there I am, in my living room breastfeeding Billy with my mom beside me, and we’re watching,” said McNearney. “I sobbed through the entire thing. I couldn’t believe the strength that it took to tell that story a week after it happened. He didn’t have to do that. Our family has excellent health care; he had nothing to gain from that. He did it for the other people whom we met in that hospital. He came home that night, and I just hugged him and I wouldn’t let go.”
So heartening to hear that little Billy is on the mend. And surely, as a result of this extremely emotional experience, Kimmel and McNearney will be continuing to speak out on the importance of access to affordable health care in the weeks and months to come.