Jimmy Kimmel

Jimmy Kimmel breaks down in tears as he reveals newborn son's life-threatening illness

Sharnaz Shahid

American chat show host Jimmy Kimmel was reduced to tears as he revealed his newborn son had to have a life-threatening open-heart surgery - just ten days after he was born. The 49-year-old opened his show on Monday with an emotionally-charged monologue to announce that his wife Molly McNearney had given birth to their second child, William 'Billy' Kimmel, on 21 April in Los Angeles. "It was a scary story and before I go into it, I want you to know it has a happy ending," he began.

The TV star explained how his wife and their two-year-old daughter Jane were in the recovery room for several hours before a nurse at Cedars Sinai Medical Centre heard a murmur in the newborn baby's heart. "He appeared a normal healthy baby," he continued. "My wife was in bed relaxing, a very attentive nurse at Cedars-Sinai heard a murmur in his heart and noticed he was a bit purple, which is not common. [The doctors] determined he wasn't getting enough oxygen in his blood, either in his heart or lungs. They did an x-ray and his lungs were fine, which meant his heart wasn't. It's a terrifying thing. They found that Billy was born with a heart disease."

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Jimmy, who presents Jimmy Kimmel Live! and was the host of this year's Oscars, went on to reveal how terrified he was when his son Billy started to turn purple. Fortunately, his little boy went through open heart surgery at three days old and thanks to the efforts of the medical staff, the surgery was success. "Every one of my friends was there 100 per cent. We had atheists praying for us, okay? We had people who do not believe in God praying to him. And I hate to even say, but even that [explicit] Matt Damon sent flowers," he added.

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Jimmy Kimmel and his wife Molly McNearney have welcomed a little boy

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"Most of all, I want to thank my wife Molly… for being so strong and level-headed and positive and loving during the worst nightmare a new mother could experience. I couldn't ask for a better partner and I'm so happy we had this baby together." Jimmy went on to urge the audience to donate to Children's Hospital Los Angeles and pleaded with politicians to make sure all Americans have access to healthcare - to support the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. "If your baby is going to die it shouldn't matter how much money you make," he concluded. "I hope you never have to go there but if you do you'll see so many kids from so many financial backgrounds being cared for so well with so much compassion."