Jimmy Kimmel is sharing an update on his five-year-old son, Billy, following his two open-heart surgeries. ET spoke to Kimmel at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Gala, where he advocated for the work the hospital is doing and what’s new with his son amid his ongoing heart condition.
“Billy’s doing great. He’s perfectly normal — I shouldn’t say he’s normal, he’s not a normal kid, he’s a weird kid, but his heart is fine,” Kimmel quipped. “He’s a little screwy, that’s all we’re worried about right now. He’s doing great. He still has to have another surgery.”
He continued, “Children’s Hospital here in Los Angeles — it’s just a great place for parents to bring their kids when it’s needed, but also it’s a great place because they train doctors and nurses from not just all around the country, they go all around the world. It’s a place where they come, they learn how to do this, and it helps everybody across the whole country, not just L.A.”
As for how Billy is compared to other 5-year-olds, Kimmel said Billy is no different than his age mates.
“People — I think they’re very hesitant to ask me about him, and they’re like ‘Is he okay?’ And he’s honestly no different physically than any of the other kids,” Kimmel explained. “He can play sports — he doesn’t want to, but he can. He’s always dancing and jumping around, and we wrestle all the time.”
“He’s fine, except for what’s going on with his heart, he’s perfectly fine,” the TV personality added.
Kimmel continued to praise CHLA, calling the doctors and nurses there the real “stars.”
“There’s some bad things about being famous, and there are some good things about being famous, and one of the best things about it, is that you and shine a light on these people who really are the stars,” Kimmel shared. When you can do something for somebody’s kid, they become the most important people in the world, and to me, these people are.
The “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” host said that five years after Billy’s surgery, he still hears from people whose children are facing similar health challenges that have questions about the hospital.
“I hear from so many people now that my son was at Children’s Hospital who contact me before they go in there, and I always say to them — Listen, if it’s someone I know, I’ll call beforehand, but I say, ‘You’re not gonna get treated any different,’ everybody’s gonna get treated like a VIP at this hospital, because that’s just the way it is there, and that’s not true of most hospitals,” he added.
In April, Kimmel shared a heartfelt tribute to Billy in honor of his fifth birthday, writing, “Happy 5th birthday to our little nut. 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.”
For his post, Kimmel shared a photo of Billy smiling in front of a pint-sized plain shortcake, complete with three lit candles. Among the well-wishers on Instagram was the account for Children’s Hospital L.A., which commented, “Happy birthday Billy!! ❤️❤️❤️🎉🎉🎉🎂🎂🎂.”
Back in 2017, the late-night host tearfully shared in a now-viral monologue that his son had been born with a heart defect and underwent open-heart surgery at three days old.
In the years since, Kimmel has echoed his gratitude to all those involved in his medical care in every post commemorating Billy’s birthday since he was born.
See more in the video below.