Jimmy Kimmel Confesses He Didn't Want to Get 'Too Close' to His Medically Complex Son


Last May, Jimmy Kimmel tearfully delivered a monologue in which he shared his son Billy’s heart condition — a monologue that resonated with many parents whose children have medical conditions and are acutely affected by health care legislation changes. Kimmel’s focus on his son and later, his plea to Congress to renew the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), was met with both applause and critique online throughout 2017. Despite the politics of it all, parents of medically fragile children seemed to empathize with the late-night talkshow host.

This Tuesday, TODAY shared that in a recent interview for O, The Oprah Magazine, Kimmel got more candid about how he and his wife emotionally handled their son’s condition when he was first diagnosed. “There were secrets we kept from each other that we revealed only after the second surgery,” he admitted. “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.”

Billy, who is only 11 months old, has already undergone two open-heart surgeries. The first when he was 3 days old and the second last December. Kimmel said they expect Billy to have another surgery when he is around 6 or 7 years old.

Some people on Facebook have attacked Kimmel for sharing his fears of growing close to his son, while others who have been in similar situations said they could relate.

I worked with special/high needs babies prenatal to age three and this is a very common reaction, more so by dads than moms. It's not a choice, it's a subconscious defense. I think it's brave to share his story so others know they are not alone in this fear.

One wrote: “I worked with special/high needs babies prenatal to age three and this is a very common reaction, more so by dads than moms. It’s not a choice, it’s a subconscious defense. I think it’s brave to share his story so others know they are not alone in this fear.”

I applaud him for his honesty. We may not all agree with what he was feeling but I’ll guarantee you that there are many that totally get it.

Another said: “I applaud him for his honesty. We may not all agree with what he was feeling but I’ll guarantee you that there are many that totally get it.”

Lead image via Jimmy Kimmel’s Facebook page.


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