Jimmy Kimmel returned to television after a week off the air, and in aheartfeltand tear-filled monologue, shared the story of his sons birth and his life-threatening health scare.
Kimmel was close to tears before he started, so he assured viewers that this story had a happy ending. He and his wife Molly welcomed a boy, whom they named William (but that theyre calling Billy), and for the first few hours everything seemed OK. Once a nurse noticed that Billys face was purple, she alerted other doctors, who discovered that Billy had a congenital heart disease.
Billy was born with a blocked pulmonary valve and he has a hole in the wall between his left and right sides of his heart. He was transferred to Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, and at three days old, Billy underwent emergency open heart surgery to repair one of the holes. After, as Kimmel put it, the longest three hours of my life, the surgery was a complete success.
Hell have to have another open-heart surgery in 3-6 months to close those holes, but they want to wait until hes bigger, Kimmel said. And then hell have to have a third, hopefully noninvasive surgery when hes older.
Kimmel and his wife were able to take Billy home, where hes doing the things any baby would. Recognizing the platform he has, he thanked every single nurse and doctor at Cedars-Sinai and Childrens Hospital who helped save Billys life by name, thanked his friends and family who were nothing but supportive during this crisisyes, even Matt Damonand alerted his audience to the incredible work Childrens Hospital does for children and their families. He already donated to Children’s Hospital but didn’t think he would ever need to go there.
Toward the end Kimmel acknowledged the political fight over healthcare access after thanking his congressman for agreeing to increase funds for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the federal budget. Donald Trump wanted to cut NIH funds, which would affect places like Childrens Hospital. And until a few years ago, children like his son might have never had access to health insurance because they happened to be born with a preexisting condition like a congenital heart defect. Or, the child might not have lived long enough to be denied because their parents didnt have health insurance.
If your baby is going to die and it doesnt have to, it shouldnt matter how much money you make, he explained. I think thats something thatwhether youre a Republican or a Democrat or something elsewe all agree on that, right?
I saw a lot of families there, and no parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their childs life, he added. It just shouldnt happen. Not here.