In a rare show of emotion, ABC's Jimmy Kimmel on Monday used his opening monologue to talk about the birth of his son, William, and the medical emergency that followed.
Kimmel was emotional from the start of the 13-minute-long opening.
William “Billy” John Kimmel was born on April 21 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The delivery went smoothly.
About three hours later, a quick-thinking nurse discovered that the baby appeared purple and she detected a heart murmur.
Billy was taken into the hospital's NICU and was administered more tests. Kimmel said the room “started to fill up. More doctors, nurses and equipment started coming in and they determined that he wasn’t getting enough oxygen into his blood.”
A pediatric cardiologist-- who was at the airport to pick up his mother-- was called back to the hospital. The staff found that the boy’s pulmonary valve was completely blocked. In addition to the blockage, there was a hole in the wall between the left and right side of the heart.
Billy was taken by ambulance to Children’s Hospital and last week underwent open-heart surgery. Dr. Vaughn Starnes, a distinguished professor and chairman of surgery at the hospital, successfully corrected the valve issue.
“It was one of the longest three hours of my life,” Kimmel said. Billy will undergo another surgery in a few months to repair the hole. He will also undergo another procedure in his teens to replace the valve.
Kimmel-- who seemed relieved at times-- tried to add levity by showing a picture of the baby after the procedure appearing to smile. Kimmel said, "Poor kid, not only did he get a bad heart, he got my face."
He said he was able to bring the boy home six days after the procedure.
The “Jimmy Kimmel Live” host read through a list of the medical professionals who assisted his family throughout the entire process and brought up President Trump’s recent plan to cut funding from the National Institute of Health, which was prevented by Congress and instead increased on Sunday night.
“More than 40 percent of those impacted by the cuts would be children,” he said.
Kimmel went on to say, “If your baby is going to die -- and it doesn't have to -- it shouldn't matter how much money you make. I hope you never have to go there but if you do you’ll see so many kids from so many financial backgrounds being cared for so well with so much compassion.”