Jimmy Kimmel announces his 'tough' and 'funny' son Billy, aged 7, has had open heart surgery for third time

Jimmy Kimmel with his wife Molly McNearney and their children Jane and Billy in 2018. Photo by Getty Images for L.A. Loves Alex's Lemonade/Rebecca Sapp.Jimmy Kimmel with his wife Molly McNearney and their children Jane and Billy in 2018. Photo by Getty Images for L.A. Loves Alex's Lemonade/Rebecca Sapp.
Jimmy Kimmel with his wife Molly McNearney and their children Jane and Billy in 2018. Photo by Getty Images for L.A. Loves Alex's Lemonade/Rebecca Sapp. | Getty Images for L.A. Loves Alex
American TV host Jimmy Kimmel has told his fans that his youngest son Billy, aged 7, has had open heart surgery for the third time - and he hopes it will be the last.

Jimmy Kimmel has praised his “brave” son Billy after the seven-year-old underwent open heart surgery for the third time.

The late-night talk show host, aged 56, told fans that his son, who was born with a rare congenital heart condition, had undergone cardiac surgery over the weekend in a post he shared with his 2.8 million followers.

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Sharing an image of his son smiling while lying in a hospital bed, the American television host, comedian, writer, and producer wrote a lengthy post about his son’s treatment, stating: “we went into this experience with a lot of optimism and nearly as much fear and came out with a new valve inside a happy, healthy kid.” He added his hope that his young son would not need to undergo the surgery again. “This weekend, our boy Billy had his third (of three, we hope) open heart surgery.”

He then thanked all those, including fans, who has taken the time to “pray” for Billy during his surgery, and encouraged his followers to donate money to the LA Children’s Hospital, where Billy has been treated throughout his life, if they could. He wrote: “Thanks to those loving strangers who took time to pray for and send positive energy to our baby, thanks to our family and friends for rallying around us to an almost-ridiculous extent”.

He also gave heart-felt thanks to his wife, and Billy’s mum, Molly, and his son himself, writing: “Thank you to my wife Molly for being stronger than is reasonable for any mom to be and Billy, you are the toughest (and funniest) 7-year-old we know.” He continued: “Walking around this hospital, meeting parents at their most vulnerable, children in pain and the miracle workers who do everything in their considerable power to save them is a humbling experience.”

Kimmel then expressed relief that his son is now healthy, stating: “There are so many parents and children who aren’t fortunate enough to go home after five days.”

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Kimmel often updates his fans on Billy’s condition, after his youngest son had to undergo open heart surgery for the first time aged just three-days-old. In 2017, Kimmel performed an emotional monologue on his show ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’, recounting the health crisis that he and his wife, his wife, Molly McNearney, were faced with just days after Billy’s birth.

He told the audience that Billy appeared to be a normal healthy baby 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 said the newborn 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 said, adding a small joke to lighten the mood.

He went on to explain that 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, which means there was a hole in the wall separating the two sides of his heart and his pulmonary valve was completely blocked. Billy has since been under the care of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

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On April 22, Kimmel celebrated Billy’s seventh birthday by posting a photo of him to his Instagram page, which he captioned: “This boy is seven years old because of you. Molly and I are overwhelmed by your generous donations to @childrensla and kind messages. Thank you for all the love. We wish you and your families good health and great friends.”

Kimmel has two adult children with his first wife, Gina Maddy: daughter Katie, aged 32, and son Kevin, aged 30. The former couple were married from 1988 to 2003. Kimmel married McNearney, who was an executive producer and co-head writer on his talk show, ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ in 2013. The couple also have two children together; nine-year-old daughter Jane and Billy, 7.

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