Jimmy Kimmel shares emotional update about son’s 3rd open heart surgery

If you’ve been a Jimmy Kimmel fan for a while (or even just casually tuned into his show from time to time), you’re probably aware that his now 7-year-old son, William “Billy” John, has struggled with health problems since his birth. Recently, Billy underwent open heart surgery for the third time, and Kimmel shared an update with fans on Instagram about how it went and how his son’s health is doing now.

The photo Kimmel shared shows Billy smiling in a hospital bed. In the caption, Kimmel wrote that his son, whom he shares with his wife, Molly McNearney, had his third surgery last weekend. Billy was born with congenital heart disease in 2017.

“This weekend, our boy Billy had his third (of three, we hope) open heart surgery. We went into this experience with a lot of optimism and nearly as much fear and came out with a new valve inside a happy, healthy kid,” Kimmel wrote, going on to thank Billy’s “brilliant” and “excellent, hard-working” doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

“Walking around this hospital, meeting parents at their most vulnerable, children in pain and the miracle workers who do everything in their considerable power to save them is a humbling experience. We hope you never need CHLA, but if you do – know that they help families regardless of their ability to pay, thanks largely to the Affordable Care Act (another salute to the late Senator John McCain), generous donations from companies like Disney, which I am proud to work for and especially from generous people like you,” he continued. “Thanks to those loving strangers who took time to pray for and send positive energy to our baby, thanks to our family and friends for rallying around us to an almost-ridiculous extent, thank you to my wife Molly for being stronger than is reasonable for any Mom to be and Billy, you are the toughest (and funniest) 7 year-old we know.”

According to stats obtained by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, approximately 22,000 pediatric open-heart procedures are performed each year in the United States. These procedures are done safely in younger children. Currently nearly 25 percent of children undergoing open heart surgery are under a month of age, and nearly 70 percent are under 1 year of age.

Kimmel wrote, “There are so many parents and children who aren’t fortunate enough to go home after five days. Please share your love, hearts and prayers with them.”

He also encouraged his followers to donate to childrens’ hospitals to help other families going through similar health journeys.

“Nothing matters more than taking care of each other,” he wrote at the end of his post.

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