Kimmel spent the first 13 minutes of his show describing the scary story of his son’s birth last week. He was born with a heart defect and had to have emergency surgery.
The story hit home for at least one Minnesota family.
“This brought back an emotional ride for sure,” says Kerry Feirn.
Kerry and Fred Feirn remember the day their son, Jet, was born 12-and-a-half years ago. He had the very same heart condition that Kimmel’s son, Billy, has. It was a frightening time.
“We didn’t know when he was born, same as Jimmy and his wife. We didn’t know it was coming and so to be hit like that is very alarming and then a lot of hospital talk and a lot of medical talk,” says Kerry.
To see Jimmy be so open, so emotional, so raw, really struck the Feirns. They believe sharing his personal story on such a large platform is a good thing.
“I think when you watched him giving his monologue, I don’t’ know how you can’t relate to his emotions, and relate to that he’s a person too and this is very real,” she says.
You may remember the Feirn's story. In February 2014, we told you about Jet and his effort to contact professional snowboarder Shaun White, who was born with the same heart defect. A month later, White answered the call.
“It happens to anybody. It can happen to people with money and it can happen to people without money. It can happen to people with health insurance and without health insurance. Yeah, I think it’s powerful that he can use that platform and help others,” says Kerry.
Today, Jet is a healthy, very active boy. So Jimmy has that to look forward to. And this:
“I don’t think I would take any of it back, I mean any suffering that Jet went through, but I wouldn’t change anything about him. He’s such an extraordinary kid, and he’s taught us so much, and people around him so much. He’s just so loveable. Yeah, it’s hard to regret any of it,” says Kerry.