Jimmy Kimmel opened his Monday night show with a big announcement: his son, William (“Billy”), was born on April 21st. William means “strong-willed warrior.”
His son, Jimmy explained emotionally, had a heart defect that a nurse detected just hours after his birth, requiring emergency open heart surgery. He will need another operation in three to six months.
Jimmy tearfully retold the story, explaining, “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.”
The congenital heart disease, Jimmy explained, is a “hole in the wall of the left and right side of his heart.” After three hours, the surgery was a success. He went home six days later and “he’s doing great,” Jimmy noted.
Jimmy took the time to thank the doctors and nurses involved and everyone who sent well-wishes. He also used the opportunity to talk about healthcare benefits, saying, “If your baby is about to die, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make.”
He added: “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.”
Jimmy thanked his wife as well, “for being so strong and level-headed and positive and loving during the worst nightmare a new mother could experience. I couldn’t ask for a better partner and I’m so happy we had this baby together.”