Jimmy Kimmel: Son Billy 'doing great,' but needs two more open heart surgeries

Jimmy Kimmel: Son Billy 'doing great,' but needs two more open heart surgeriesEntertainment

Jimmy Kimmel has spoken out again about the health of his 3-month-old son Billy, who he previously revealed had been born with a heart defect and had to undergo open heart surgery at three days old. USA TODAY

It’s been almost four months since late-night host Jimmy Kimmel told the world about the birth of his son Billy and his life-threatening heart defect that required surgery within three days. The ordeal inspired him to use his show to make an emotional appeal to Congress to save the Affordable Health Care Act.

On Wednesday, he took Billy to the set of JImmy Kimmel Live! for the first time, which he later told The Hollywood Reporter about while filling them in on the little boy’s prognosis (which is good) and his obsession with ceiling fans.

Kimmel noted that Billy will need two more surgeries and that he’s looking forward to getting them over and done with.   

The first of those surgeries will happen within the next two months, Dr. Nicolas Madsen told USA TODAY. He’s an assistant professor of pediatric cardiology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and vice-chair of the Medical Advisory Board for the Pediatric Congenital Heart Association. At that point, surgeons will repair the hole between Billy’s left and right ventricles. 

Madsen says the procedure has multiple purposes: preventing oxygenated blood that’s intended for the rest of the body from spilling from the left ventricle through the hole to the right chamber and reducing pressure on the lungs, which left untreated can result in long-term damage.

Aside from that, Kimmel says Billy’s doing great. “He’s juggling. He’s translating Flaubert from French into English,” he cracked. “He’s really an amazing kid. No — he smiles. That’s pretty much it. He is very interested in ceiling fans. He likes those a lot. I could get him to pay the same amount for Netflix just to watch ceiling fans.”

He also discussed why he decided to address the health care vote on his show.

“I knew I had to say something, and I knew that I would get emotional. It occurred to me that maybe we could make it into something positive,” Kimmel explained. “I had a lot of time to think at the hospital, and it just so happened that our government was deciding whether or not millions of people should have health care at that time. I think it made a big impact on American citizens. I’m not sure, based on how our so-called leaders voted, whether it made a big impact on the Senate or House.”

While he was relieved that the Senate votes have failed, Kimmel says he believes the fight is far from over.

 “I worry that those who oppose Obamacare are going to do everything they can to make sure it doesn’t work,” he said.

He added that he would welcome Donald Trump on his show, noting how personal stories affect this president.

“If I were his next-door neighbor and I didn’t have health insurance for my child, I find it hard to believe he would ignore that,” Kimmel said.

usatoday.com