Jimmy Kimmel tearfully recounts newborn son’s heart surgery

Jimmy Kimmel tearfully recounts newborn son's heart surgery

LOS ANGELES — A tearful Jimmy Kimmel turned his show’s monologue into an emotional recounting of his newborn son’s open-heart surgery — and a plea that all American families get the life-saving medical care they need.

“It was a scary story and before I go into it, I want you to know it has a happy ending,” Kimmel assured ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” studio audience Monday as he detailed how his son’s routine birth last week suddenly turned frightening.

Several hours after his wife, Molly, gave birth April 21 to William John, a “very attentive” nurse at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center alerted the couple and doctors to the baby’s purple-ish colour and an apparent heart murmur, the host said.

The baby’s lack of oxygen was either due to a lung problem or, worst-case scenario, heart disease, Kimmel said, and it was determined to be the latter.

“It’s a very terrifying thing,” he said. He was surrounded at the hospital by very worried-looking people, “kind of like right now,” he told the audience, one of the jokes he managed despite choking up and having to pause at times.

A sonogram showed his son was born with holes in the wall separating the right and left sides of the heart and a blocked pulmonary valve, Kimmel said. The baby, nicknamed Billy, was taken by ambulance to Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles to undergo surgery to open the valve.

“The longest three hours of my life,” Kimmel said.

Billy will have another open-heart surgery within six months to repair the openings and then a third procedure when he’s a young teen, but he came home six days after the surgery and is “doing great,” Kimmel said. He shared photos of him with his wife, their 2-year-old daughter Jane and a smiling Billy.

After thanking by name the nurses, doctors and staff at the two hospitals, along with his colleagues and friends — “Even that (expletive) Matt Damon sent flowers,” Kimmel said of his faux rival — the comedian then gave an impassioned speech on health care.

He criticized President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to the National Institutes of Health and praised Congress for instead calling for increased funding.

“If your baby is going to die and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make. … Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right?” he said.

Washington politicians meeting on health care need to “understand that very clearly,” he said. Partisan squabbles shouldn’t divide American on something “every decent person wants. We need to take care of each other.”

Kimmel said he would skip the rest of this week’s shows to be with his family while guest hosts take his place.

He was joined Monday by Dr. Mehmet Oz, who was a previously scheduled guest but jumped in to offer an illustrated description of Billy Kimmel’s heart problem. Also on the show at Kimmel’s request was Shaun White, the Olympic gold medal snowboarder who discussed overcoming the same heart defect as Kimmel’s son.

Lynn Elber, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Omnibus zoning bylaw sent for revisions to prevent blanket upzoning in downtown Victoria

More than 10 downtown properties identified by Downtown Residents Association

Proposed public art installation sparks debate in Victoria

$250,000 sculpture compliments an interactive sound element of First Nations drumming and singing

Christmas at McTavish Market gets bigger

Visitors of McTavish Market on the corner of McTavish and East Saanich… Continue reading

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

Sooke Christmas hampers to be handed out Sunday

Over 400 hampers have already been prepared

Truck collision injuries cyclist in Saanich

A female cyclist suffered serious injuries after colliding with a truck Saturday… Continue reading

B.C. concert promoter bans Nazi symbols at shows

A man was witnessed making a Nazi salute during a heavy metal show at Pub 340

EDITORIAL: Putting #MeToo to work in your workplace

Workers from top to bottom need to stand together against the bully of sexual harassment

Owl found dead after eating rat poison leaves B.C. woman concerned

After finding the owl on her Surrey property, Christine Trozzo says the poison is a concern for kids

Change to CPP death benefit panned as insufficient to cover funeral costs

Funeral Services Association of Canada lobbied governments to raise the value to $3,580

Shelbourne Community Kitchen vies for $20,000 prize

Epicure Foundation, based in North Saanich, will give five groups $20,000 each

Woman in Nanaimo accidentally hands over diamond ring with spare change

Incident happened Wednesday at about 7 p.m. at parking lot near Nanaimo’s boardwalk

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit

Most Read