With Easter came another grateful day of celebration for Jimmy Kimmel as his son, Billy, turned two years old. With a touching message, he gave thanks to all those that made the special day possible.
The talk show host took to Instagram on Sunday with a sincere message to all the staff at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles who helped save his son’s life. Alongside a sweet picture of little Billy, the proud father of four wrote:
Billy came into this world with a congenital heart condition, tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia and had his first surgery at only three days old. On May 1, 2017, Jimmy shared the heartbreaking news with viewers on his show, “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
"On Monday morning, Dr. Vaughn Starnes opened his chest and fixed one of the two defects in his heart,” Jimmy began his 13-minute monologue all the while fighting back tears as he continued, “He went in there with a scalpel and did some kind of magic that I couldn't even begin to explain, he opened the valve, and the operation was a success. It was the longest three hours of my life."
Two months before Billy’s second heart surgery, fans saw the five-month-old for the first time when Jimmy and his wife, Molly McNearney took him, along with his 4-year-old sister, Jane, to a charity event at UCLA.
During an interview for The Oprah Magazine’s April 2018 issue, Jimmy explained how fear of their son’s death caused feelings of detachment.
“There were secrets we kept from each other that we revealed only after the second surgery,” Jimmy told the magazine. “The biggest one was that I think subconsciously, we didn’t want to get too close to the baby because we didn’t know what was going to happen.”
But thankfully the little guy is a fighter and pulled through his first year. When Billy celebrated his first birthday, Jimmy took to social media and praised the doctors and nurses that made it possible but also thanked everyone for their thoughts and prayers through a difficult time.
The “tough kid” also got birthday wishes from other celebs who followed the challenges he faced as Ellen DeGeneres wrote:
Since going through the experience, Jimmy used his platform on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” to advocate for universal health care coverage. But for now, Jimmy is grateful to have shared his son’s second birthday with him.
Apart from his two children with Molly, Jimmy also has two children from his previous marriage to Gina Kimmel, 24-year-old Kevin, and 27-year-old Katie.
However, Ellen DeGeneres did more than send Billy happy birthday wishes, when she first found out that Billy had to undergo a second surgery, she gave Jimmy something special.