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Jimmy Kimmel Posts Emotional Tribute In Honor of Son’s First Birthday

Billy Kimmel, whose heart defect and subsequent treatment, spurred his dad to fight for affordable health care, turned one over the weekend.


Over the weekend, Jimmy Kimmel celebrated his son Billy’s first birthday. While any baby’s first trip around the sun is a big event for parents, Billy’s was a bit more special, as he underwent not one but two heart surgeries in his first year, the first taking place when he was but three days old. Billy had his first heart surgery when he was just three-days-old and his second at seven-months. Now, just five months later, the little guy is looking healthy and covered in ice cream cake.

Since Billy’s birth and subsequent surgeries, Kimmel has become a vocal supporter of affordable healthcare. In the days after Billy’s first surgery, Kimmel, recognizing how lucky he and his family were to be able to afford Billy’s healthcare, delivered a number of heartfelt thanks to those who took care of Billy and to start a national dialogue in favor of providing accessible and affordable healthcare to every child in America. Throughout the year, he’s become one of the most vocal supporters of affordable healthcare and has kept viewers abreast of Billy’s updates while also engaging in debates with a number of politicians.

In his heartfelt message to Instagram on Billy’s birthday, Kimmel kept up his plea for healthcare reform.

“A yr ago today, God gave us this tough little boy. Today, we thank the nurses & doctors at @CedarsSinani & @ChildrensLA who saved his life & those who shared thoughts & prayers. We cannot stay quiet. Please wish Billy happy birthday by REGISTERING TO VOTE!”

Billy’s mother Molly McNearney echoed her husband’s sentiment when she made her own birthday post in Billy’s honor.

“One year ago I pushed this little fighter into the world. He’s taught me true strength and joy,” her post read. “We promise to keep fighting for kids like you, sweet Billy. Thank you, God, for this light.”

The birth of Billy ignited something in Kimmel many didn’t expect and the comedian and late night host promised to continue fighting for better health care for families. In terms of Billy, he seemed like he got to enjoy his cake and eat it too. Happy birthday, Billy.