Why Jimmy Kimmel Cried During his Show Last Night

Last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the normally wise-cracking host spoke to the audience through tears as he detailed his newborn son Billy’s health condition, a congenital heart disease called Tetralogy of Fallot, which is characterized by four defects including a hole in the heart.

Kimmel says that he and wife Molly were recovering after the birth on April 21, and everything seemed normal until an extremely observant pediatric nurse noticed that Billy had a slight murmur and a bluish tinge to his skin. After a team of nurses and doctors looked into the issue and ruled out lung issues (common, says Kimmel, because of fluid accumulated during birth), it was decided that Billy would be transported to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where the baby would undergo a three-hour open-heart surgery to repair the hole. Six days after the surgery, Billy is now at home with his family, including two-and-a-half-year-old sister Jane.

As Kimmel goes on to thank the doctor who performed the life-saving surgery, he hits peak emotion. “I’ll never be able to thank him for…. So I won’t even try.” Soft laughter ensues.

But through the tears there are also classic Kimmel jokes: He says that even the “son of a bitch Matt Damon sent flowers” and “after this, I’m definitely getting a vasectomy.”

He finished on a political note, taking a strong stance against cuts to health funding. “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,” he said. “Because more than 40 percent of the people who would have been affected by those cuts to the National Institute of Health are children.”

Kimmel asks viewers to pray for the families and children who are still in the hospital. “No parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child’s life.”