CBS4’s Jesse Wells recalls newborn son’s heart surgery amid viral Jimmy Kimmel monologue

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- Monday night, Jimmy Kimmel used his monologue to share the story of his son, William John Kimmel, who was born with a serious heart issue and had to have surgery.

The monologue was emotional and quickly pulled on the heartstrings of people across the world.

Kimmel also praised Obamacare and noted that prior to it, those born with congenital heart disease like his son could be turned down for health insurance because they were deemed as having a pre-existing condition.

CBS4 reporter Jesse Wells went through a similar situation with his son, Ryne. When Ryne was born,

"It's hard to watch what he talked about because I lived it first hand. The first week of my son's life we spent living in the NICU at OU Medical Center in Oklahoma. My son was born in 2010 with a heart condition," said Wells.

It was a narrowing of the aorta, which is not livable. He was also born with two heart valves instead of three.

Doctors ended up rushing the boy out of the room. A heart specialist came in and informed them their son needed heart surgery less than a week into his life.

"It was literally the hardest week of my life," said Wells.

He said seeing Kimmel talk about it made him emotional.

"My son will live with this for the rest of his life," he said. "He'll have to go to the cardiologist for the rest of his life and he will need another surgery."

Wells also echoed Kimmel's thoughts on eliminating protections for people with pre-existing conditions, no matter what side of the aisle it comes from.

"I'd like them to explain to me, or Kimmel or anyone else that has a son or daughter born with a heart condition- why that child when it grows up should not be allowed to have health insurance. There's no moral reason to eliminate those protections."

Wells' full interview with Debby Knox can be watched above. See photos of Ryne below from when he was born and how is now as a 6-year-old.

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