On Monday night during his opening monologue of the late night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live, Jimmy Kimmel revealed that his son Billy — born April 21 — was diagnosed with a rare heart condition and nearly died not long after his birth. In an emotional 13-minute speech, Kimmel explained that Billy was born with "tetralogy of fallot and pulmonary atresia," a rare heart condition that necessitated open-heart surgery just three days later. Kimmel conveyed to his audience what a scary experience the whole thing was, but reassured the crowd that the story had a happy ending before he went into the distressing details. Photos of Jimmy Kimmel's son Billy that Kimmel and his wife have shared show the little guy is a fighter, to say the least.
While talking about the experience, Kimmel broke down in tears several times as he chose to share the story of one of the most harrowing ordeals a parent can go through. Kimmel also brought up President Donald Trump's proposal to cut $6 billion from the federal budget for the National Institutes of Health, praising Congress for instead deciding to increase funding by $2 billion.
"If your baby is going to die and it doesn't have to, it shouldn't matter how much money you make," Kimmel said, according to CNN. "I think that's something that whether you're a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right?"
The story did indeed have a happy ending. The above picture shows a photo Kimmel shared with his audience of his newborn son after his life-saving surgery. Between that and a photo Kimmel shared of his son looking much more medically fragile — not long after the staff at Cedars-Sinai Hospital discovered there might be a grave medical concern at play — it's clear little Billy is a fighter, and his family is so happy and proud that he is.
Please be advised: the next image might be triggering for those who have lost children or have experienced a traumatic incident involving a hospitalized child.
According to NBC News, a nurse at the hospital Billy was born in noticed the baby had a heart murmur and seemed to be purple in coloring. AOL.com reported that he was moved to Children's Hospital Los Angeles for the surgery, and the photo below is how he looked after the issue was discovered and following the first of a series of surgeries to correct his heart problem. The image might be a tough one to look at, but as Kimmel assured his late-night crowd, all was well for Billy in the end:
Kimmel choked up as he described the immediate aftermath of medical staff noticing the concern, and said:
It's a terrifying thing. 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 worried looking people -- kind of like right now -- who were trying to figure out what the problem is.
And it's clear that Kimmel wants other families to have that same quick-thinking medical care and health care access if their child unfortunately faces a similar battle. He urged viewers to donate to the Children's Hospital Lost Angeles where doctors saved his son's life, and was clearly thankful for Obamacare — which made it so individuals like his son, born with a pre-existing condition, can still be covered by health insurance.
On a happier note, Kimmel also shared a recent family photo with his wife, Molly, and their daughter and Billy's 2-year-old big sister, Jane, who is clearly thrilled to have a sibling:
Kimmel told the audience that although Billy will need two more surgeries, the procedure was a success, and little he has recovered, according to Elle. Kimmel thanked nurses and doctors, friends and family, and several others who worked tirelessly to either help his son or send cards, well-wishes, and prayers from the sidelines.
"I hate to say it; even that son of a bitch Matt Damon sent flowers," he jokingly told the crowd — referring to the teasing "enemy" relationship the two entertainers share.
Kimmel shared a sweet snapshot of himself resting with his newborn son, a photo he'll be sure to cherish as the little boy grows up. And his wife, Molly McNearney, a co-head writer for the show, posted a photo to Twitter of her husband and son on Tuesday. In it, it looks like both her "brave guys" are smiling.
"I am thankful to love and be loved by these two brave guys. Both criers," she captioned the photo.
Hopefully the only crying for Billy's parents in the near future will be of the "happy tears" variety.