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 nee 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.