At only 18 months old, Jimmy Kimmel’s son Billy has already been through a lot. Thankfully, after two scary surgeries to repair a congenital heart defect, “You’d have no idea [anything was wrong] besides his awesome scar on his body,” Kimmel’s wife, Molly McNeary, told Us at an October 20 gala benefiting Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
And the Jimmy Kimmel Live! host, 50, has a great plan for dealing with his son’s questions about the scar in the future: “We’re going to tell him he was attacked by a monster,” he quipped.
Kimmel was honored at the gala after he raised $5.5 million for the hospital that saved his son. “I looked around at this great hospital, Children’s Hospital, and I thought well I have a television show and a story to tell,” he told Us. “So if I can do something to help them raise money and just raise people’s awareness of how important these doctors and nurses are, [I will].”
With their son now “happy and healthy,” says McNeary, the couple have had time to reflect on how the ordeal affected them. Kimmel says he learned “to appreciate being a parent more than I did [before]. I always appreciated it, you never want anything bad to happen to your children but nothing bad had happened to any of my children so that’s a real reality check.” The dad to Katie, 27, and Kevin, 25 (from his previous marriage to Gina Kimmel), and daughter Jane, 4, (with McNeary) notes, “it does make you, for lack of a new cliché, cherish every moment.”
For more on Kimmel and his family, pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, on stands now!
With reporting by Kayley Stumpe.
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