6 months ago
As Jimmy Kimmel movingly revealed on his show Monday night, his newborn son underwent emergency open-heart surgery just days after his birth.
A perceptive nurse probably saved the child’s life by noticing the early signs that the child had a congenital heart defect called tetralogy of Fallot.
This heart condition prevented Kimmel’s son’s lungs from getting enough oxygen, requiring surgery. The procedure was a success, but a second operation will be required in a few months and a third when Kimmel’s son is a teenager.
Congenital heart defects occur in just under 1 percent of babies. Of those, 10 percent have tetralogy of Fallot. (The odds of Kimmel’s son’s specific condition are about 1 in 10,000.)
The causes of heart defects are generally not understood. While surgeries have a high success rate, the procedures are a treatment, not a cure. As Dr. Joseph Rossano, executive director of The Cardiac Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, puts it: “We can definitely treat it, and many patients live with these conditions and do very well. But they do need lifelong care.”
Watch below if you missed Kimmel’s revelation of the complications of his son’s birth.