It was a powerful moment from Jimmy Kimmel as he opened his show Monday night with the revelation that his son was born with a heart defect.
"You know I try not to get emotional, but it was a scary story,” he said as he addressed his audience at the top of his show. “A little over a week ago on Friday, April 21, my wife, Molly, gave birth to a boy. A baby boy his name is William John Kimmel. He appeared to be a normal baby until about three hours after he was born.”
He explained: “My wife was in bed relaxing when a very attentive nurse at Cedars Sinai Hospital, her name is Nanush, was checking him out and heard a murmur in his heart, which is common in newborn babies, but she also noticed he was a bit purple, which is not common.”
Doctors performed an X-ray, and determined his lungs were fine. But the same could not be said for his heart.
An echocardiogram determined Billy had a heart disease where his pulmonary valve was completely blocked. In addition, the child has a hole in the left and right walls of his heart.
The baby was rushed to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where a doctor performed open heart surgery.
“He did some kind of magic — I couldn’t explain,” Kimmel said as his voice cracked with emotion. “The operation was a success. It was the longest three hours of my life, but the operation was a success.”
The baby will have to have another surgery in three to six months and then in his teens to replace the valve that was implanted during surgery.
The funnyman was even able to crack a joke about the ordeal.
“Not only did he get a bad heart — he got my face.”
The child was brought home nearly a week after surgery and Kimmel says his son is now “doing great.”
Kimmel showed off photos of his family with the baby at home and thanked those who saved his son’s life, including a longtime "nemesis."
“We had atheists praying for us, OK?” he said. “And I hate to say it — even that son of a b**** Matt Damon sent flowers.”
The funnyman also took the opportunity to get political.
“If your baby is going to die, and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make," he said. "I think that’s something that, whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right?"
He then discussed health care and how Affordable Care Act rollbacks could affect kids like his.
“This isn’t football," he said. "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."
After the show aired, Kimmel sent out a tweet: “On behalf of my family, thank you for the lovely and loving tweets about our son Billy and for your donations to http://www.chla.org xo.”
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