Jimmy Kimmel’s son, Billy was born with Tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia, a serious congenital heart defect, and had to undergo surgery shortly after he was born. He had a second surgery last week after which his father brought him on TV to thank everyone who helped and also to talk about affordable healthcare for children with chronic illnesses.
7-month-old Billy made his second TV appearance on his father’s late night show on Monday where Jimmy struggled to hold back tears as he told his audience that his son pulled through following his second heart surgery.
“I was out last week – because this guy had heart surgery. But look he’s fine everybody, he may have pooped but he’s fine,’ the 50-year-old TV host said.
As Jimmy’s voice began to shake with emotion, he said: “Daddy cries on TV but Billy doesn’t… it’s unbelievable.”
He went on to thank the “very bright and talented doctors and nurses at the children’s hospital who treated Billy” and continually treat other children. The host then talked about CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program). He said that the health of a lot of children is being threatened at the moment because the government was about to stop funding the program. He said the last time funding for CHIP was authorized was in 2015. He said they have now placed it on the back burner.
“This means parents of children with cancer and diabetes and heart problems are about to get letters saying their coverage could be cut off next month. Merry Christmas, right?… This happened because Congress about 72 days ago failed to approve funding for CHIP”
He then told members of the public to bombard the phone lines of their lawmakers to get them to do what’s right for the children.
“So once again, I’m asking you, Billy is asking you to make two phone calls. Jam the House and Senate phones tonight, tomorrow, or as long as it takes. Tell them to take a break from tax cuts for a minute and fully fund CHIP immediately. Call your representatives at the House and Senate at this number. Leave messages for both of them. Don’t let them keep pushing it off. They need to fund CHIP now,” Kimmel pleaded.
He added: “I also want to remind everyone that Friday is the last day to enroll in the affordable healthcare plan. In spite of President Trump’s efforts to sweep it under his rug, Obamacare is not dead. It’s very much alive. Millions of people qualify for reduced rates or even totally free plans but you only have 4 days to sign up.”
He finally disclosed that his son has one more surgery and is doing great.
“Billy is doing great, by the way. He has one more surgery – this is amazing – he had an operation a week ago. They say he’ll probably on track to win at least a bronze medal at the Olympics in 2036,” the proud dad said.
Watch the emotional video below.