He was born with a similar condition as Kimmel’s newborn son.
Spanning the personal and political for 13 minutes, Kimmel explained how his newborn son, Billy, was born with a rare heart defect, Tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia, and required open-heart surgery to survive. Though Billy is recovering now, it clearly and understandably left Kimmel shook.
Last night, though, Kimmel had a guest on his show who was able to speak to what Billy's going through right now: pro snowboarder and Olympic gold medalist Shaun White. He explained to Kimmel that he was born with a similar defect, and broke down the process that he went through as a child.
"I was slowly turning blue, and my parents knew something was up," White recalled. From there, the doctors came in and diagnosed his condition, prompting a series of surgeries to treat the defect. White also pointed out that Billy Kimmel is one of the lucky kids with this condition, as he did not need to have an artificial valve inserted into his heart, which would have needed to be replaced in a later surgery.
He further explained how his parents took a hands-off approach to his athletic endeavors, and let him figure out his limitations, which clearly put Kimmel at ease, and surely gave him something to think about with respect to how he'll parent Billy in the years to come. At the very least, he now knows that winning an Olympic gold medal is not out of the question for young Billy.