Birth of ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel’s son raises awareness on congenital heart defects

GLASTONBURY, Conn. (WTNH) –A tearful Jimmy Kimmel on his ABC late-night talk show opened with an emotional monologue.

“It’s a terrifying thing — my wife is back in the recovery room — she has no idea what’s going on,” he said.

The comedian shared heartfelt news in the birth of his son just over a week ago.

“Billy was born with a heart disease.”

A heart defect– detected by a nurse after he was born, but repaired successfully by surgeons.

Izabel Bishop’s heart defects were also not diagnosed until after Mom delivered her.

“About 60 percent of all early congenital heart disease across the country is captured and so that’s a fair number that are missed during prenatal care,” says Fetal Cardiologist, Dr. Alicia Wang.

Every six months, Izabel undergoes an echo-cardiogram, in the Fetal Cardiology Department of Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

Dr. Wang says despite advances in technology, not everything is picked up during pregnancy.

“we also need to have all the other pieces in place,” explains Dr. Wang, “in terms of the timing of the ultrasound, the cooperation of the baby in order to get all of the images and there are a number that are missed.”

She says that’s why babies are examined closely after delivery, “The newborn care is absolutely critical – there are things that we do in the newborn nursery – checking oxygen levels – the nurses are critical in terms of assessing the babies- the physical exam of the babies before going home.”

For Izabel and Mom, good news from Dr. Wang, “the echo looks very very stable.”

Asked how was it seeing Dr. Wang today? Izabel says, “Good.”

The seven year old clearly understands, “She just talks about, talks about, me,” says Izabel.

Why these visits are critical, “because we can get my heart better.”

A heart, now working, as it should.

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