Kimmel Tearfully pleads for Affordable Care Act in wake of Son’s Heart Defect

Jimmy Kimmel | (ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live) | (Video Clip) | – –

“Jimmy and his wife Molly welcomed their second child together, William “Billy” Kimmel. At three days old, Billy had successful open heart surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and is now home with his family. Jimmy opens up about his son’s birth and health complications and encourages donations to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles where Billy and so many other kids get such wonderful care…”

Jimmy Kimmel “Reveals Details of His Son’s Birth & Heart Disease”

2 Responses

  1. Tetralogy of Fallot, which sounds like a four volume fantasy-adventure novel, is the most common complex congenital heart defect, occurring in 1 in 2,000 newborns. It was untreatable and fatal before the Blalock-Thomas-Taussig procedure, a palliative surgery first performed on a human in 1944.

    The Blalock-Thomas-Taussig shunt was developed by Vivien Thomas, an African-American surgical technician and assistant to surgeon Alfred Blalock at Vanderbilt University and later at Johns Hopkins University. Mr. Thomas developed the shunt surgery working with dogs, and supervised Dr. Blalock during its first employment on a human patient, 29 November 1944.

    Vivient Thomas received no credit or financial reward for his creation at the time, and even today it is commonly called the Blalock-Taussig shunt.

    There is an HBO film about Vivien Thomas, Something the Lord Made, which you may view here:

    link to

    One of my wife’s colleagues was not (as I thought before researching this) the first human recipient of the Blalock-Thomas-Taussig shunt, but probably the fourth or fifth. The shunt is a palliative procedure and not a total surgical repair (developed in 1954 by C. Walton Lillehei), so our colleague had many heart surgeries throughout his life. He had a rewarding life, raised a family, and he was a gifted high school teacher (math and Special Ed). Until you have a graduate degree or two and 20+ years seniority, Chicago Public Schools don’t pay well. But teaching is a stressful job with take-home work, and CPS teachers have better than average medical benefits. Our colleague’s pre-existing medical condition was not an insurance problem for him. I hope young William Kimmel will be as fortunate.

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