Jimmy Kimmel choked back tears as he shared the story of his newborn son, Billy's recent open heart surgery. The late night host says going through this harrowing family experience certainly puts things in perspective. Kimmel pleaded for less partisan bickering, when it comes to the health of America's children.

Longtime Bergen County resident &TV celebrity, Dr. Mehmet Oz, was a guest on Monday's show and talked about how far we've come overall in detecting such conditions.

While this particular case had its complicationsNew Jersey is a trailblazer when it comes to early detection. Back in 2011, the state became the first in the nation to require that every newborn be screened, within 24 hours, for congenital heart disease.

The Kimmels' story is bound to strike a chord with NJ families & medical professionals alike. For more information on local facilities & groups supporting cases of pediatric congenital heart disease from before birth and beyond, check out the following:

-The CHOP Cardiac Center at Saint Peter's Children's Hospital (part of NJ’s first state-designated Regional Perinatal Center) (New Brunswick)

-The Congenital Heart Defect Coalition (non-profit based in Morris County) 

Proud Jersey Girl Erin Vogt’s first reporting gig involved her Fisher Price tape recorder. As a wife and momma of two kiddies, she firmly believes that life’s too short to drink bad coffee.  A fan of the beach, Dave Grohl and karma, in no particular order.

Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook as ProudJersey.

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