Jimmy Kimmel: Everything the Oscar host had to say about his son’s health after multiple heart surgeries

This year, Jimmy Kimmel will take center stage as host of the 2023 Oscars. It will mark the comedian’s third time hosting the awards ceremony.

From his nightly hourly show Jimmy Kimmel Live Debuting on ABC in January 2003, Kimmel has been a mainstay on late night television. And, for nearly a decade, the Emmy winner has been sharing bits of his personal life with his audience, including details about his relationship with his wife, Molly McNearny, and their two children – Jane, eight, and Billy, five .

Kimmel is also father to artist Katie Kimmel, 31, and actor Kevin Kimmel, 29, whom he shares with ex-wife Gina Kimmel.

In 2017, Jimmy Kimmel captured hearts when he shared an emotional monologue about his then-newborn son Billy’s life-saving open-heart surgery. During the Live show, recounted the health crisis he and his wife faced just days after the birth of their son, William “Billy” John Kimmel.

On April 21, Kimmel said his wife Molly gave birth to their son in an “easy delivery.”

“He seemed to be a normal, healthy baby until about three hours after he was born. We were out of the delivery room, moved into the recovery room. Our whole family was there. We were happy, everything was fine,” he said.

Kimmel then recalled that a “very attentive nurse” named Nanush was checking on their son when she heard a heart murmur and noticed he was turning purple. Kimmel, with his son Billy, were directed to follow her to the neonatal intensive care unit, where a doctor determined the baby was not getting enough oxygen in his blood.

“They did an X-ray and his lungs were fine, which meant his heart wasn’t,” Kimmel said. “It’s a scary thing – 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 people who look very worried, kind of like right now,” he joked. the public.

Jimmy Kimmel reveals details about his son’s birth and heart disease

Doctors did an echocardiogram, which is an ultrasound of the heart, and found that Billy was born with a rare congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) with pulmonary atresia – in which there was a hole in the wall separating the two sides. of his heart.

At that moment, their son was taken by ambulance to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where he underwent open-heart surgery at just three days old. Kimmel explained to the audience that Billy would need another open-heart surgery in a few months to close the holes in his heart, followed by a third sometime in the future.

Shortly after delivering his monologue, Kimmel’s wife Molly – who is co-head writer on Jimmy Kimmel Live – shared a photo of her husband and a smiling Billy in hospital and thanked them both for their bravery.

“Grateful to love and be loved by these two brave kids,” she tweeted. “They’re both crying.”

Seven months later, Kimmel gave birth to baby Billy Jimmy Kimmel Live he just had his second heart operation.

Reflecting on his son’s health journey, the late-night host admitted to Oprah Winfrey in 2018 that he and Molly briefly felt distant from their son out of fear that he would not overcome his heart condition.

“There were secrets we kept from each other that we only revealed after the second operation. The biggest thing was, I think subconsciously, we didn’t want to get too close to the baby because we didn’t know what was going to happen,” Kimmel said in an interview with O, The Oprah Magazine at that time. “I don’t know if this is right or wrong or common or unusual. But when I told her I felt that way, she said, “Oh, I’m so glad you said that because I felt that way too and I didn’t want to express it.”

In 2019, Kimmel updated his fans about his son Billy, who was two years old at the time and was obsessed with Spider-Man. “He thinks he’s Spider-Man now, so we’re safe from crime,” he said Us Weekly. “He wears the suit all the time. He pulls webs all over the house. He goes to kindergarten as his secret identity and then turns into Spider-Man when he gets home.”

Ahead of the 2020 US presidential election, Kimmel took the opportunity to encourage Americans to vote by detailing his own experience with his then three-year-old son’s health battles.

“I want to bring us back to focus on something we can’t afford to forget, and that’s health care,” he said during a segment on Jimmy Kimmel Live. “The vast majority of this country believes that health insurance should cover Americans with pre-existing conditions.”

During the episode, the host played a video put together by his wife Molly, which describes the complications their son Billy has faced since his birth. At one point, the video showed Billy as an infant in the NICU, as well as footage from some of his more than 60 doctor appointments over three years. “This is what it looks like to have a ‘pre-existing’ condition,” the video read.

The video ended on a happy note showing Billy now, dancing with his older sister Jane and kissing his mother. “Americans take care of each other,” the clip concluded. “Vote with your heart.”

As his son turned five last April, Kimmel celebrated the special occasion by thanking the doctors and nurses who saved Billy’s life in an Instagram post.

“Happy birthday to our little nut,” Kimmel wrote. “We are eternally grateful to the brilliant doctors & nurses at @ChildrensLA & @CedarsSinai who saved Billy’s life & to those of you whose donations, prayers & positive thoughts meant everything. Please support the families in need of medical care.”

More recently, the comedian said Entertainment Tonight in October that his son is “doing great” after overcoming two open-heart surgeries. “He’s totally normal – I shouldn’t say he’s normal, he’s not a normal kid, he’s a weird kid, but his heart is fine,” she joked. “He’s a bit spoiled, that’s all we’re worried about at the moment. He’s doing great. He has to have another surgery.”

When asked how Billy compares to other five-year-olds, Kimmel replied that he is no different.

“People – I think they’re very hesitant to ask me about him and they’re like, ‘Is he OK?’ And he’s honestly no different physically than any of the other kids,” she explained. “He can play sports – he doesn’t want to, but he can. He’s always dancing and jumping, and we’re fighting all the time.”

“He’s fine, other than what’s going on with his heart, he’s perfect.”

The 2023 Oscars will take place on Sunday, February 12 at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.

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