It’s been a tough year for Billy Kimmel, and he’s still only one year old! The beautiful baby, who is the son of late-night host Jimmy Kimmel and wife Molly McNearney, has undergone a series of operations on his heart due to a congenital condition. Known as tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia, this health problem led to Billy’s pulmonary valve being totally blocked, as well as a hole between the two sides of his heart. It was a nurse who first noticed the condition soon after Billy was born, leading doctors to run the appropriate tests and allowing Billy to fight for his life. When children with this condition make it through these difficult first few months of their lives, they can often live productive lives. Olympic snowboarder Shaun White is just one example of someone who has not allowed the defect to define his life.
Ever since Billy’s brush with fate, Kimmel has stepped to the frontline of the universal health care debate, becoming an advocate and promoting health care for those who cannot afford it. Kimmel recognizes that he and his wife happened to be in a lucky position for parents of a child with his condition, because they had excellent health insurance and the means to help him. However, he is now fighting for those who are not as financially well-off as he and his wife.