LOS ANGELES—Television host Jimmy Kimmel disclosed on his talk show, “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” that his infant son underwent open heart surgery three days after his birth upon being diagnosed with a heart condition known as tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) with pulmonary atresia.
William John “Billy” Kimmel, the second child of Kimmel and his wife, Molly McNearney, was born at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles on April 21. Three hours after what he described as an “easy delivery” that took six pushes, one of the nurses, reportedly named Nanoush, heard a “murmur” coming from his heart.
Although she stated that it is relatively common for newborns, she noticed that Billy was purple in color, which is not common.
Billy was taken into the neonatal ICU where additional medical practitioners came together to address the infant’s condition.
Kimmel noted that at that time, McNearney was placed in the hospital’s recovery room and was unaware that their newborn was under the watch of several doctors and nurses, all of whom were “very worried-looking,” Kimmel described.
After visiting a pediatric cardiologist and undergoing an echocardiogram, the infant was diagnosed with TOF and sent to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to receive emergency open heart surgery, which Kimmel said was successful. The infant will reportedly undergo future procedures due to the severity of his heart condition, which specialists found was blocking his pulmonary valve.
Kimmel ended his disclosure on Monday night by explaining:
“If your baby is going to die and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make. I think that’s something that whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right?”
In response, former president Barack Obama tweeted:
“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!”