Jimmy Kimmel and his wife, Molly McNearney, refuse to let their son grow up ashamed of his “awesome” surgery scars — and they’ve come up with the perfect way to boost his confidence.
“We’re going to tell him he was attacked by a monster,” the late-night host told Us Weekly while at a benefit event for the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Their 18-month-old son, Billy, was born with a congenital heart defect called tetralogy of fallot that affects only 1 in every 2,000 babies according to Scientific American. The condition, which restricts the amount of oxygen pumping through the heart, can be deadly if not treated early. Thankfully, the Mayo Clinic reports that, if diagnosed and treated at a young age, those born with the condition can still go on to live healthy, full lives.
Thanks to multiple surgeries and excellent care from the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, McNearney says little Billy has the opportunity to be a totally normal kid. “You’d have no idea [anything was wrong] besides his awesome scar on his body,” she told Us.
Kimmel made headlines last year after giving a heart-wrenching monologue about his son’s condition on his show. He tearfully pleaded with politicians to make health care a universal, accessible right for all Americans, many of whom can’t currently afford the kinds of expensive procedures and medications Billy needed to survive.
His political statements don’t end with health care, though. This summer, Kimmel vocalized his disdain for the Trump administration’s decision to separate migrant and asylum-seeking families at the border and joined dozens of other celebrities in donating to organizations that provide legal counsel to those affected.
Billy couldn’t have asked for two cooler, more compassionate parents.