Jimmy Kimmel is known to break down occasionally on his late night show (most recently following the passing of his friend, Don Rickles) but on Monday it was his own family’s struggles that caused him to well up with tears.
During his monologue on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Kimmel recounted the recent birth of his son, Billy, with wife Molly McNearney on April 21.
Shortly after he came into the world, a nurse noticed a heart murmur. When tests for fluid in the lungs were negative, things got scary for Kimmel.
“So now more doctors and nurses and equipment come in. It’s — 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 very worried-looking people — kind of like right now — who are trying to figure out what the problem is,” he told his audience.
It turns out Billy was born with a heart defect and needed surgery. “It’s hard to explain,” said Kimmel, “but basically the pulmonary valve was completely blocked, and he has a hole in the wall between the left and right sides of his heart.”
Kimmel revealed that Billy underwent successful surgery on Monday, April 24 and is now at home with his family.
He thanked his family, friends, co-workers and yes, even Matt Damon, for their prayers and support. He also made an emotional endorsement for the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) which makes it possible for people with pre-existing conditions to receive health insurance.
“We were brought up to believe that we live in the greatest country in the world, but until a few years ago millions and millions of us had no access to health insurance at all,” said Kimmel.
“You know, before 2014 if you were born with congenital heart disease like my son was, there was a good chance you’d never be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition. You were born with a pre-existing condition and if your parents didn’t have medical insurance you might not live long enough to even get denied because of a pre-existing condition. If your baby is going to die and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make,” he added while fighting back tears.
Kimmel then made a plea for people of all political parties to come together for the betterment of the American people.
“Let’s stop with the nonsense. This isn’t football. There are no teams. We are the team. It’s the United States. Don’t let their partisan squabbles divide us on something every decent person wants. We need to take care of each other,” he said.
Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama praised Kimmel for his passionate support for health care, while fellow talk show hosts Ellen DeGeneres and Seth Meyers sent love to their colleague and his family.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 2, 2017
Well said, Jimmy. That’s exactly why we fought so hard for the ACA, and why we need to protect it for kids like Billy. And congratulations! https://t.co/77F8rZrD3P
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 2, 2017
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) May 2, 2017
Things got a bit dusty in the Meyers’ house this morning. Love to the entire Kimmel family. https://t.co/1VlaTMn2SP
— Seth Meyers (@sethmeyers) May 2, 2017
Other Celebrities showing support were Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Brad Paisley, Christina Applegate, and Josh Groban.
A touching & most powerful monologue from my friend@jimmykimmel &it has a happy ending.I love him & his whole family.https://t.co/T2mEQh14j6
— Julia Louis-Dreyfus (@OfficialJLD) May 2, 2017
— Brad Paisley (@BradPaisley) May 2, 2017
— christina applegate (@1capplegate) May 2, 2017
— josh groban (@joshgroban) May 2, 2017
Kimmel, himself, took to Twitter to thank everyone once again for their support before urging donations to the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, which he supported even before going through his son’s ordeal.
on behalf of my family, thank you for the lovely and loving tweets about our son Billy and for your donations to https://t.co/HOIUvNt8WE XO
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) May 2, 2017
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(Photo Credit: ABC)