Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel’s infant son Billy is “doing great” just four months after he was born with a congenital heart defect, and forced to undergo emergency surgery.
“He’s translating Flaubert from French into English. He’s really an amazing kid,” Kimmel joked to The Hollywood Reporter of his precocious child. “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.”
Despite the progress, Kimmel revealed that Billy will still have to undergo two more open heart surgeries.
“We would like to get them over with and not have to think about it all the time, but it could definitely be worse,” he said, with the “we” referring to his wife, Molly McNearney.
Jimmy Kimmel reveals son’s heart defect, decries health care cuts
The “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” host caught the attention of the entire country in May when he opened up in an emotional segment about his son’s struggle, and made an impassioned plea on behalf of the Affordable Care Act just days before the House voted to repeal and replace major portions of Obamacare.
Looking back, Kimmel says he “had to say something” on the matter, and knew full well that his speech would make him emotional.
“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,” he said. “I don’t see what the difference between health care and education is. Every kid should have a right to education.”
Kimmel’s speech resonated with scores of viewers — including former Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, who the comedian says all sent over letters in support.
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In his original monologue, Kimmel explained that Billy’s heart defect was a preexisting condition, and should a baby with the same condition be born into a family without health insurance, the infant likely wouldn’t survive.
“If your parents didn’t have medical insurance, you might not live long enough to even get denied because of a pre-existing condition,” Kimmel said in May. “If your baby is going to die and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make.”
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