Shared from the 2017-05-03 Chattanooga eEdition

Jimmy Kimmel tearfully recounts son’s heart surgery

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Jimmy Kimmel

LOS ANGELES — A tearful Jimmy Kimmel turned his show’s monologue into an emotional recounting of his newborn son’s openheart surgery — and a plea that all American families get the life-saving medical care they need.

“It was a scary story and before I go into it, I want you to know it has a happy ending,” Kimmel assured ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” studio audience Monday as he detailed how his son’s routine birth April 21 suddenly turned frightening.

Several hours after his wife, Molly, gave birth to William John, a “very attentive” nurse at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center alerted the couple and doctors to the baby’s purple-ish color and an apparent heart murmur, the host said.

The baby’s lack of oxygen was either because of a lung problem or heart disease, Kimmel said, and it was found to be his heart.

“It’s a very terrifying thing,” he said. He was surrounded at the hospital by very worried-looking people, “kind of like right now,” he told the audience, one of the jokes he managed despite choking up and having to pause at times.

A test showed his son had a birth defect called tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia — a hole in the wall separating the right and left sides of the heart and a blocked pulmonary valve, Kimmel said.

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