When Jimmy Kimmel‘s 18-month-old son, Billy Kimmel, is older, he’ll have an amazing tale to tell his friends about the surgical scars on his body. Since he’s too young now to understand how he got them, his parents have cleverly come up with an amazing story to tell Billy so that he doesn’t feel insecure.
“We’re going to tell him he was attacked by a monster,” the 44-year-old comedian recently joked to Us Weekly at a gala benefiting the Children’s Hospital of LA. Although it’s an intriguing tale, Jimmy will probably come clean and tell his son the true story once he’s old enough to understand.
Instead of being attacked by a fictional monster, Billy had to undergo surgery to repair a congenital heart defect. The surgery saved Billy’s life and Jimmy couldn’t be more grateful to the hospital that took care of his son. To show his appreciation, Jimmy ended up raising $5.5 million for the hospital and was honored at the gala.
“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 said. “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].”
Billy’s near-death experience was enough to make Jimmy “appreciate being a parent” a lot more than he did previously. “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,” he said.
Thankfully, Billy is doing a lot better after undergoing surgery. Now Jimmy’s wife, Molly McNearney, says that her baby is “happy and healthy,” and she wouldn’t want to have it any other way!