Tiny’s Story


Tiny was a happy baby, always smiling.

Here Tiny is holding is oxygen mask.

Tiny endured much in his short life, and to honor his memory, the Keiser family has started tinySmiles.

“Tiny” was born on June 20, 2011. He was born in less than ideal circumstances and it wasn’t until June 28th that he was finally seen in the hospital. He received basic care and his future adoptive parents were called at this point. The following morning, the hospital ran more diagnostics tests (including pulse oximetry) and found that his heart was broken. It’s a miracle that he had lived this long.

He was born with a Hypoplastic Left Heart (in other words – essentially “Tiny” had no left heart). He was flown to UC Davis and received the most advanced and loving care possible. “Tiny” was even able to go home after his first of Three planned surgeries. “Tiny” received intensive medical care at home because of a unique home program that few hospitals offer.

On the day after Thanksgiving 2011, “Tiny” was checked back into the hospital to prepare for his second surgery. He had this surgery on December 2, 2011. Sadly, “Tiny” was never able to get off the ventilator and heart bypass. After a strong and courageous fight, he died on December 27, 2011. Pulse oximerty and other tests gave the family six great months with a beautiful little boy.

Our Vision

“A tiny smile can make a world of difference”.

The purpose for our foundation is to bring awareness for Congenital Heart Defects and provide information on how families can transition from hospital to home



The tinySmiles foundation is named for the precious baby in which Rick and Jean Keiser were in the process of adopting.

tinySmiles will be dedicated to helping the patients, families and staff who daily deal with children with congenital heart defects.

Tiny was unable to survive his heart defect and the Keiser’s need his death to bring more than tears; they need Tiny’s memory to  be intertwined with service for others.

Tiny was such a happy baby, he was always smiling. The Keiser’s knew they wanted to do something t help kids and families at the hospital. A tiny smile can make a world of difference.

A phone call in June of 2011 informed the family of Tiny’s existence, brought an instant reaction of joy. Tiny was a sibling to two of the Keiser’s adopted children. Unfortunately, that joy turned to worry almost immediately.

Tiny was born at home, he was 8 days old when he was found by authorities. An initial exam revealed that he had heart problems and he was immediately transported to UC Davis. (Without proper care after his birth) He shouldn’t have even lived as long as he did. At UC Davis, Dr. Raff and his team were the best. Tiny had his first surgery when he was just 10 days old.


Tiny was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a condition in which the left side of the heart is underdeveloped. Each year, about 40,000 children in the United State are born with  a heart defect, known as congenital heart disease. The process for children like Tiny is three surgeries, the first right after birth, a second at a few months of age, and a third a few years later. With advances in technology and research, the survival rate for children with congenital heart defects has greatly increased over the past 15 years.


Join us in our 6th annual race!

The tinySmiles Half marathon, 5K, 10K and Kids Fun Run will be happening Saturday, February 10, 2018.

You can find all the information about this race HERE



Please visit our links!

These are links to sites that could be useful for anyone looking for additional information on hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS)