Funny-man Jimmy Kimmel is known for making his audiences laugh. But his opening monologue on Monday night was a different kind of emotional endeavor.
The host of Jimmy Kimmel Live! announced that he and his wife, Molly McNearney, welcomed their new son William John on April 21. They call him Billy.
Choking back tears on Monday night, Jimmy addressed the audience by saying, “Before I go into it, I want you to know it has a happy ending.”
The late night comedian then went on to detail the sheer terror of learning that the perfect little human they’d just brought into the world was in desperate need of help.
“My wife was in bed relaxing when a very attentive nurse at Cedars-Sinai…was checking him out and heard a murmur in his heart, which is common with newborn babies,” Jimmy explained. “But she also noticed he was a bit purple, which is not common.”
The room soon filled with more nurses, other doctors and more equipment. The atmosphere quickly turned from joyful baby bliss to fearful concern. Billy was swept off for various scans and tests.
Hours later, the parents learned that their baby boy had been born with “a hole in the wall of the left and right side of his heart.” It was preventing the infant from circulating enough oxygen through his blood, and the condition would require multiple surgeries throughout Billy’s life.
At just three days old, Billy underwent the first of many procedures to repair his heart. The surgeon “went in there with a scalpel and did some kind of magic that I couldn’t even begin to explain,” Jimmy told the audience.
“The operation was a success,” he said. “It was the longest three hours of my life.”
Both of the happy new parents could not be more grateful or relieved that their son is alive and as healthy as he can be with the heart disease he was born with.
Jimmy closed his monologue by urging viewers to donate to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, so that other babies will have the same chance at life as Billy did, saying, “If your baby is going to die—and it doesn’t have to—it shouldn’t matter how much money you make.”