Jimmy Kimmel reveals son's heart defect

The late-night TV host held back tears as he announced that his newborn son, William, had to undergo emergency open heart surgery.
5:36 | 05/02/17

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Transcript for Jimmy Kimmel reveals son's heart defect
and this morning, our friend Jimmy Kimmel is sharing his gratitude after that health crisis for his newborn son Billy. The comedian trying to hold back tears last night as he told viewers Billy had to have emergency open heart surgery. T.J. Holmes is here as and has that story. Very scary for any parent. Reporter: Yeah, ten finger, ten toe, every parent's rudimentary check of the initial health of their newborn. Everything looked fine with Jimmy Kimmel's son initially but it wasn't long before the kid was leaving the hospital, not going home but going to another hospital for heart surgery. Jimmy Kimmel told this story in excruciating detail last night and the guy we turn to for laughs had us all crying last night. I have a story to tell about something that happened to our family last week. I'm sorry. Reporter: Jimmy Kimmel couldn't hold back. Tearfully recounting the terrifying moments after his son Billy was born. And he appeared to be a Normal healthy baby until about three hours after he was born and moved to the recovery room. When a very attentive nurse at cedars-sinai hospital, her name is nanoosh, was checking him out and heard a murmur in his heart which is common with newborn babies but noticed he was a bit purple, which is not common. They did an echocardiogram which is a sonogram of the heart and found that Billy was born with a heart disease, something called tetralogy of fallot with pulmonary atresia. It's hard to explain, basically the pulmonary valve was completely blocked and he has a hole in the wall between the left and right sides of his heart. We put the baby in an ambulance to children's hospital los Angeles and on Monday morning Dr. Starnes opened his chest and fixed one of the two defects in his heart and opened the valve and the operation was a success. It was the longest three hours in my life. So this poor kid, this is what he looked like on Monday. But this is what he looked like yesterday. Poor kid, not only de get a bad heart, he got my face. Six days after open heart surgery we got to bring him home which is amazing. He's doing great. He's eating, he's sleeping. He Peed on his mother while she changed his diaper. Reporter: The new dad offers his hopes for the future. I saw a lot of families there and no parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child's life. It just shouldn't happen. Not here, so -- anyway, thank you for listening. I promise I'm not going to cry for the rest of the show. Please say a prayer for or send positive thoughts to the families with children who are still in the hospital now because they need it. Reporter: But, of course, what's a Kimmel story without Matt Damon. Even that son of a Sent something. Reporter: Now, of course, Kimmel there, he announced last year on the same day that he announced he was doing the oscars he announce his wife as pregnant. She's a head writer on the show with him for the oscars and I was out there talking to him for the oscars and all the time off camera we spent talking about kids so it was painful to see him go through that but you heard the humor and said for sure he's getting a vasectomy after this. He is not going through any more stress of any more kids. All right, T.J., our senior medical contributor Dr. Jennifer Ashton is here. You delivered 1500 baby he is and an emergency proceed shire like this. It definitely happen, robin. This particular is called a congenital heart defect. A lot of times these are picked up on prenatal ultrasounds and in that case you would do an induction for labor and delivery, a controlled elective delivery so you have neonatal and surgical teams ready to go. Other times like this one these findings present in the immediate postpartum poured either in the delivery room or soon thereafter with a baby who is not oxygenating well and in that case transferred to a major academic medical center with very high level pediatric surgical teams and nursing care is necessary. And we have to remember, how complex this surgery is, robin. This is the size of a newborn heart. It's the size of a walnut and you're talking about arteries and veins in a newborn that in some cases are smaller than a strand of angel hair pasta. So great that the nurse and I've often said about nurse, they are just so aware of what's going on and she was the one who alerted everyone. Exactly. Billy is home. That's great. What is the recovery time? It's going to vary based on what kind of defect or surgical problem the newborn faced. Sometimes babies will spend days or weeks in the neofatal icu, sometimes months or staged or sequential operations are needed especially when you're talking about congenital heart defects but one thing any parent nurses or doctor know, kids, babies, incredibly resilient and recover really well. We saw Sean white on the show. He had procedures like this and everything has gone well. Over 35,000 cases in the year every year of congenital heart defects and many, many of those people go on to lead very, very Normal lives. Will they need follow-up? Absolutely but Normal lives and people like Shaun white leading the way for everyone, absolutely possible. I loved how Jimmy ended by talking about all those parents who were in the hospital with their children right now. We have to keep them in mind. Absolutely. Thank you, Jen.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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