It doesn’t get more personal than the opening monologue of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Monday night, in which the teary host revealed the baby boy born to his wife, Molly McNearney, on Friday underwent open-heart surgery.
About three hours after little William birth, he told his audience, a nurse at Cedar Sinai hospital detected a heart murmur. The surgery took place Sunday at Children’s Hospital during what Kimmel called “the longest three hours of my life,” and the baby now is home with his family.
According to The Associated Press: “It’s a very terrifying thing,” Kimmel said. He was surrounded at the hospital by very worried-looking people, “kind of like right now,” he told the audience, one of the jokes he managed despite choking up and having to pause at times. A sonogram showed his son was born with holes in the wall separating the right and left sides of the heart and a blocked pulmonary valve, Kimmel said. The baby, nicknamed Billy, was taken by ambulance to Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles to undergo surgery to open the valve.
Billy will have another open-heart surgery within six months to repair the openings and then a third procedure when he’s a young teen, but he came home six days after the surgery and is “doing great,” Kimmel said. He shared photos of him with his wife, their 2-year-old daughter Jane and a smiling Billy.
The host also used the moment to make a political statement, thanking Congress for rejecting the Trump Administration’s request for a cut in funding to the National Institute of Health. The cut, Kimmel said, “would have a major impact on lot of great places, including Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. Which is so unbelievably sad to me.”
“If your baby is going to die and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make. … Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right?” he said.
Washington politicians meeting on health care need to “understand that very clearly,” he said. Partisan squabbles shouldn’t divide American on something “every decent person wants. We need to take care of each other.”
Kimmel will be on paternity leave the rest of the week, and guest hosts will fill in: Will Arnett on Tuesday, Anthony Anderson on Wednesday, Kristen Bell on Thursday and David Spade on Friday.
Contributing: Associated Press