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Jimmy Kimmel Shares Son's Heart Disease Diagnosis in Opening Monologue

Jimmy Kimmel returned to late night TV on Monday after taking the week off following the birth of his son. Explaining his absence to viewers, Kimmel shared that his son was born with tetralogy of Fallot and pulmonary atresia – a rare heart condition requiring emergency surgery.

Kimmel, who was visibly choked up several times throughout his opening monologue, shared the details of his son, Billy Kimmel’s, ordeal. Shortly after Billy was born, a nurse noticed he had a heart murmur and looked purple.

“It was the longest three hours of my life,” Kimmel said, discussing his son’s emergency open heart surgery. His son will require two more procedures – one in three to six months and the other when he grows up to replace his faulty heart valve.

Kimmel also used his speech to discuss health care and the difficulties so many Americans have faced in accessing and affording health care.

“You know, before 2014 [when Obamacare came into force], if you were born with congenital heart disease like my son was, there was a good chance you wouldn’t be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition,” Kimmel said.

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

Image via Wikimedia Commons/Selma Üsük

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