Ardent fans of the quietly excellent ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live‘ would have noticed that last week the series shifted quite abruptly to an entire week of reruns.
As it turns out, there was a very good – if not fairly scary and heartbreaking – reason for this.
Last Monday (US time) Kimmel and wife Molly welcomed their second child, a wee little boy named William “Billy” Kimmel. But shortly after Billy arrived, attentive staff at the hospital noticed something wasn’t quite right with the lil guy.
X-ray and investigation discovered that Billy had a serious heart condition, one that saw the pulmonary valve completely blocked, and one that required immediate emergency open heart surgery.
Thankfully, the operation was a success and Billy is slowly recovering. Though in 3-6 months he’ll require another operation, before a less invasive operation to replace his heart valve once he reaches his early teens.
Kimmel returned to the show earlier today to resume hosting duties before he takes the rest of the week off to look after his family, with a raft of guests and friends set to fill in as host in the interim.
But at the top of the show Kimmel, clearly emotional and fighting back tears the entire time, detailed the harrowing story in a heartfelt, and extremely moving monologue where he thanked the tireless efforts of nurses, doctors and staff at the hospital, and the support of family and friends (“even that sonofabitch Matt Damon sent flowers.”)
Kimmel closed his monologue by noting that children like his son might not have been able to obtain health insurance prior to the implementation of Obamacare in 2014, and praised the work of US Congress to avoid President Trump‘s proposed cuts to the healthcare system in the US.
The speech is incredibly moving and hard to watch without welling up, particularly when it cuts to sweet, blessed Guillermo also in tears.
Maybe save this one for home if you’re currently in a public place.
Poor little dude, oh god. Here’s hoping he has a full recovery, and a long, happy life with his clearly doting Dad.
Go get ’em, Billy.