Watch Jimmy Kimmel Break Down Over His Newborn Son's Heart Condition

jimmy kimmelJimmy Kimmel Live/YouTubeWe're used to Jimmy Kimmel making us laugh, but last night, he made us cry -- and hopefully, he made a lot of people think, too. In an incredibly emotional opening monologue, the late-night comedian revealed that his son William was born a little over a week ago with a congenital heart defect which required open heart surgery when he was just three days old. Little Billy is going to be okay, Kimmel tearfully assured the audience -- but only because he has access to quality medical care, which so many children won't if Obamacare is repealed.


William appeared to be born healthy, Kimmel said. But a few hours later, a nurse noticed that he had a heart murmur and that his coloring was too purple. After many, many more doctors and nurses were called in and tests were performed, William was diagnosed with a heart defect called tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia. His pulmonary valve was blocked, and there was a hole between the left and right sides of his heart. Billy was taken by ambulance to Children's Hospital Los Angeles, where he had open heart surgery to repair one of the two defects.

And thanks to the surgeon performing what Kimmel called "some kind of magic," the procedure was a success! Billy will need to have surgery again in a few months, as well as a valve replacement when he's in his early teens, but for now the little boy is doing great, Kimmel said -- before going on to thank the team of health-care professionals who saved his life (as well as all of his very supportive family members and friends, including that "son of a b*tch Matt Damon").

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The fact that Kimmel was able to stand in front of an audience and share his harrowing tale when everything is still so raw was frankly amazing, but what he managed to do with the next part of his monologue was even more impressive. Because while Kimmel knows his family was incredibly lucky, the plight of the other children and parents still in the hospital clearly weighed heavily on his mind -- particularly those who don't have his financial resources. After telling his own story, Kimmel went on to blast the GOP's plan to repeal Obamacare and the protections it offers people with preexisting conditions:

President Trump last month proposed a $6 billion cut in funding to the National Institute of Health. And, thank God, our congressmen made a deal last night to not go along with that. They actually increased funding by $2 billion. And I applaud them for doing that. Because more than 40 percent of the people who would have been affected by those cuts to the National Institutes of Health are children. And it would have a major impact on a lot of great places, including Children's Hospital in Los Angeles. Which is so unbelievably sad to me.

We were brought up to believe that we live in the greatest country in the world, but until a few years ago, millions and millions of us had no access to health insurance at all. You know, before 2014, if you were born with congenital heart disease, like my son was, there's a good chance you'd never be able to get health insurance, because you had a preexisting condition. You were born with a preexisting condition. And if your parents didn't have insurance, you may not even live long enough to get denied because of a preexisting condition.

If your baby is going to die and it doesn't have to, it shouldn't matter how much money you make. I think that's something that whether you're a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right?

So well said, and so true. But one honestly has to wonder if we all agree that every child deserves a right to good health no matter how much money his parents make, especially when Republicans say that they may vote this week on a version of the American Health Care Act that's reportedly even worse for the sick, elderly, and poor. 

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Here's hoping that Kimmel's story will reach the ears that need to hear it most this week. In an ideal world, testimonials like his would be enough to sway the hearts and minds of even the most greedy and selfish lawmakers -- but alas, if one thing is certain, it's that we're not living in an ideal world. Either way, we applaud Jimmy Kimmel's efforts and wish him and his family all the best. Watch his full monologue below, but be sure and have tissues at the ready!

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