It’s hard not to get choked up when you hear Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monolog from Monday night. He gave a very emotional account of his newborn son being diagnosed with a rare heart condition. Soon after Billy’s birth, he came near to death and had to have surgery on his heart.
The 49-year-old TV personality, who also hosted this year’s Oscars, was unable to hold his tears as he began describing the fearful ordeal at the hospital. He assured his audience at the beginning of his story that it would have a “happy ending.” His son appeared fine when he was born on April 21st, but a nurse noticed that the baby had a heart murmur and looked purple in color. Very quickly doctors diagnosed “tetralogy of fallot and pulmonary atresia.” This is a rare condition meaning that the pulmonary valve was blocked and there was a hole in the heart wall.
Kimmel watched as more doctors and nurses came into the room with Billy. He said it was “terrifying.” The surgery lasted three hours, Kimmel said, “It was the longest three hours of my life.” But the operation was successful, and his baby is now home. Billy will have to have a 2nd surgery at three months and another in his early teens.
Jimmy Kimmel also used this experience to give his political views on healthcare and President Trump. He gave an impassioned defense of Obamacare and sharply criticized the president’s failed attempts to cut health spending. “You know, before 2014 [when Obamacare came into force], if you were born with congenital heart disease like my son was, there was a good chance you wouldn’t be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition,” he said. “If your baby is going to die and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make,” he added. “I think that’s something that whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right?” Kimmel continued to criticize President Trump’s proposed cuts to the National Institute of Health saying, “Thank God our Congressmen made a deal [Monday] night to not go along with that.” Congress, in fact, voted to give the NIH a $2 billion increase.
We surely can all agree how wonderful it is that Billy Kimmel’s life was saved by gifted medical professionals, but what do you think about using that platform to promote a political agenda?
Credit: NBC News