Jimmy Kimmel's Son Billy Turns 1: How He's Doing a Year After His Heart Surgery

William John Kimmel just turned a year old and his dad is celebrating the roller coaster year with ice cream and smiles

By Meg Swertlow Apr 21, 2018 11:31 PMTags

Happy birthday, Billy!

Jimmy Kimmel took to social media today to wish his son William John Kimmel a very happy first birthday and to share an absolutely adorable photo of the birthday boy eating some ice cream during a festive celebration.

In the pic, the 1-year-old, who was decked out in a bow tie and party hat, was all smiles as he reached for more. Despite his year of life-threatening health issues, Billy had his happy face on. A true survivor! 

The proud papa made sure to thank the doctors and nurses at Cedars Sinai hospital and Children's Hospital Los Angeles who helped bring his son with Molly McNeary into the world and also those that performed the life-saving heart surgery on the newborn.

The Jimmy Kimmel Live! host tweeted, "A yr ago today, God gave us this tough little boy. Today, we thank the nurses & doctors at @CedarsSinai & @ChildrensLA who saved his life & those who shared thoughts & prayers."

The outspoken funnyman made sure it was not a laughing matter when he ended his social media post by writing, "We cannot stay quiet. Please wish Billy happy birthday by REGISTERING TO VOTE!"

Celebrity Birthday Bashes

On May 1, 2017, the late night host made a headline-making return to Jimmy Kimmel Live when he came out and did his monologue, revealing to the world that at three-days-old his son had had to undergo heart surgery. The YouTube video of the 13-minute monologue has received over 13 million views.

"On Monday morning, Dr. Vaughn Starnes opened his chest and fixed one of the two defects in his heart. He went in there with a scalpel and did some kind of magic that I couldn't even begin to explain," Jimmy explained at the time while trying to hold back tears. "He opened the valve, and the operation was a success. It was the longest three hours of my life."

"This is some place Children's Hospital Los Angeles. I hope you never have to go there, but if you do, you'll see so many kids from so many financial backgrounds being cared for so well and with so much compassion," he explained. "I've been supporting Children's Hospital for years. I had no idea we'd ever wind up there."

Kimmel also made sure to thank his wife.

"Most of all I want to thank my wife, Molly. First of all, for allowing me to have sex with her in the first place," Jimmy joked. "That was huge right there. So few have done that. But also for being so strong and levelheaded and positive and loving during the worst nightmare a new mother could experience. I couldn't ask for a better partner. I'm so happy we had this baby together. I'm definitely getting a vasectomy after this."

Watch: Jimmy Kimmel Brings 5-Month-Old Son to First Public Outing

In September, Jimmy and Kimmel brought their 5-month-old baby boy out for his very first public outing.

The late night host brought his young son on the red carpet for the L.A. Loves Alex's Lemonade charity event at UCLA. In addition to Billy, the late night duo was joined by their 3-year-old daughter Jane.

When asked how the wee one was doing, Kimmel said, "He's doing well. This is really his first public outing. It's not exciting for him, he's a baby! But everyone is doing well!"

When the little guy was six months old, Jimmy posted a photo of him on social media and let fans know that he was doing well. "Billy is 6 months old today. He's healthy, happy & we're very grateful for your prayers, wishes & support of @ChildrensLA & other hospitals."

In December, little Billy had to have his second open heart surgery. One week after that surgery, the Jimmy Kimmel Live! host brought Billy on stage for the first time.

Kimmel explained to the audience, "Hey I was out last week because this little guy had to have heart surgery, but look he's fine!"

The father of four continued with an emotional plea to viewers, "We want to thank the very bright and talented doctors and nurses at Children's Hospital who treated Billy and many kids with so much care and compassion—children from every income level whose health is especially threatened right now because of something you probably never heard of. It's called CHIP [Children's Health Insurance Program]."

Jimmy continued, "Parents of children with cancer, diabetes and heart problems are about to get letters saying their coverage could be cut off next month. Merry Christmas, right?  This is literally a life and death program for American kids. It's always had bipartisan support, but this year, they let the money for it expire while they work on getting tax cuts for their millionaire and billionaire donors."

While holding onto his son, Jimmy asked viewers to call House and Senate phone lines and demand CHIP funding before it was too late.

In February, Ellen DeGeneres had the Oscars host on her show and announced that she'd named one of the rooms at Children's Hospital LA after Kimmel and McNeary's son.

"We called our friends at Children's Hospital LA," DeGeneres told her emotional guest. "We have named one of the rooms of the Heart Institute floor in honor of Billy." 

They proceeded to show footage of the room with a sign on it reading "In Honor of Billy Kimmel." Meanwhile, the proud dad didn't immediately break out into tears, but he did take a moment to discreetly wipe his eye. 

"That will forever be the Billy Kimmel room," DeGeneres said.

In the March issue of O Magazine, Kimmel admitted that he and his wife had kept their fears secret and only spoke of them after Billy had his second surgery in December.

"There were secrets we kept from each other that we revealed only after the second surgery," he said to the mag. "The biggest one was that, I think subconsciously, we didn't want to get too close to the baby, because we didn't know what was going to happen...I don't know if that's right or wrong or common or uncommon. But when I told her I was feeling that way, she said, 'Oh, I'm so happy you said that because I was feeling that way too, and I didn't want to express it.'"

During the chat, Kimmel said that his son was "doing great." 

And judging from today's smiles, Billy looks like he's still doing great! 

Happy birthday, kiddo!