Jimmy Kimmel gives update on his son’s health following third open-heart surgery

Television host’s son, Billy, was born with a rare congenital heart condition

Kevin E G Perry
Los Angeles
Tuesday 09 July 2024 22:07 BST
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Tom Holland surprises Jimmy Kimmel's infant son

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Jimmy Kimmel has revealed that his 7-year-old son Billy is back to his old self after undergoing his third open-heart surgery in May.

The Jimmy Kimmel Live! host, 56, told fans earlier this year that his son would be undergoing surgery after being born with a rare congenital heart condition.

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Kimmel said: “Billy’s doing great. He had open-heart surgery, you know, he’s got the scars and everything, but he’s just mentally right back where he was, which is crazy.”

He added: “Physically, you know, we’re gonna have to be careful with him for a couple of months, but he’s doing really well.”

Kimmel went on to express his amazement over how resilient children are. “They’re made of rubber,” said the Oscars host. “Everybody says that kids are so resilient, and the doctors actually explained it to me, which, I don’t know why it never occurred to me before, because they’re still growing and we’re not. Ideally, we’re not. We’re shrinking.”

Kimmel often updates his fans on Billy’s condition. In 2017 he delivered an emotional monologue on his talk show, recounting the health crisis that he and his wife, his wife, Molly McNearney, were faced with just days after Billy’s birth.

Jimmy and Billy Kimmel
Jimmy and Billy Kimmel (Getty Images / @JimmyKimmel via Instagram)

He told the audience that Billy appeared to be healthy at first, but three hours after he was born a nurse noticed a heart murmur and that he was turning purple.

Billy was taken to the neonatal ICU where a doctor determined the baby wasn’t getting enough oxygen into his blood.

“They did an X-ray and his lungs were fine which meant his heart wasn’t,” Kimmel said in his monologue. “It’s a terrifying 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 very worried-looking people, kind of like right now,” he joked to the audience.

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The doctors did an echocardiogram, which is a sonogram 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.

Kimmel explained: “Basically, the pulmonary valve was completely blocked and he has a hole in the wall between the left and right sides of his heart.”

Billy was then taken in an ambulance to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where he underwent open heart surgery for the first time at just three days old.

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