A True Fighter

Jimmy Kimmel’s Sweet 5th Birthday Post To His Son Is A Real Tearjerker

The late-night host thanked the doctors and nurses who saved Billy’s life after he was born with a heart condition.

Jimmy Kimmel and his son Billy -- Bill has undergone 3 heart surgeries since he was born with a hear...
Araya Doheny/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Jimmy Kimmel shared a sweet post on his son Billy’s 5th birthday on Thursday, thanking the doctors and nurses who saved his life after the little one was born with a rare heart condition in 2017.

The Jimmy Kimmel Live host wrote a touching caption alongside a photo of Billy blowing out his birthday candles. “Happy 5th birthday to our little nut,” Kimmel posted. “We are eternally grateful to the brilliant doctors and nurses at @ChildrensLA & @CedarsSinai for saving Billy's life and to those of you whose donations, prayers and positive thoughts meant everything. Please support families who need medical care. Link in bio. 💙.”

Kimmel linked to a donation site for the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, which provides medical care to children in need, like Billy.

Billy Kimmel on his 5th birthday.

Kimmel — who also shares 7-year-old daughter Jane with wife Molly McNearney and has two older children, Katherine, 30, and Kevin, 28, from a previous marriage — first revealed Billy’s diagnosis during a tear-filled monologue on his show in May 2017. He explained that McNearney had a quick delivery and everything seemed fine until about three hours post-birth when a nurse noticed Billy had a heart murmur.

“It’s a terrifying thing,” Kimmel told the audience at the time, his voice breaking. “You know, my wife is back in the recovery room, she has no idea what’s going on and I’m standing in the middle of a lot of worried looking people — kind of like right now — who were trying to figure out what the problem is.”

Billy was diagnosed with tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) with pulmonary atresia and ventricular septal defect (VSD)— a pulmonary valve was completely blocked and there was a hole in the wall between the left and right sides of his heart. He had open heart surgery three days after he was born. He has since had two other surgeries.

In 2020, Kimmel shared a heartwarming video update on Billy’s health on Jimmy Kimmel Live, urging people to fight for affordable healthcare for those with pre-existing conditions ahead of the presidential election.

A video about healthcare Kimmel shared on his show in 2020.

"Families go broke trying to keep their loved ones alive," the video, made by McNearney, read. "People die because they cannot afford to live ... we are raising [Billy] to fight for less fortunate kids.”

Here’s to Billy’s birthday, health, happiness, and being a fighter.