(LOS ANGELES) — In an emotional monologue, his voice breaking from the beginning with tears, Jimmy Kimmel surprised viewers Monday night with the tale of his three-day old son’s emergency open heart surgery that took place last week, when the show had gone into previously unannounced reruns.
The host explained that he and his wife learned, just hours after the birth of William “Billy” Kimmel on April 21, that the boy had a heart problem.
“It’s a terrifying thing,” Kimmel said, voice breaking as he recounted standing in the neonatal intensive care unit as doctors examined the baby, determined that the newborn had a problem with a heart value and a hole in the heart wall and needed surgery.
Kimmel explained that surgery was successfully performed on little Billy on Monday, but the boy will face at least two more procedures, including an open heart surgery when he’s a few months older and another procedure in his teens.
Kimmel showed his audience before and after pictures of little Billy to cheers from the audience, and slipped in a joke — “Poor kid, not only did he get a bad heart, he got my face.”
He also encouraged viewers also to support the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and he even turned political noting that a child like Billy born with a pre-existing condition before Obamacare would likely have been denied health insurance.
He made time to thank numerous people for their support, including CostCo and ABC Disney, who both sponsor the Children’s Hospital. He also thanked his friends, family and coworkers, and begrudgingly thanked Matt Damon.
A spate of celebrity guest hosts will take over for Kimmel next week while he spends time with his family.