"Miles" Keiser, though nicknamed "Tiny" by his family, an infant treated at UC Davis Children’s Hospital in 2011 is having a big effect on the lives of children with congenital heart disease in Sacramento and on his community.
Born in Northern California in June 2011, Tiny would undergo the first of three planned surgeries to correct hypoplastic left heart syndrome 10 days after birth, and would be treated afterward in the UC Davis Children’s Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Unit/Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.
The infant received his diminutive nickname from his pre-adoptive parents, Rick and Jean Keiser of Galt, Calif., who already had adopted two of Tiny’s siblings and were in the process of adopting their brother.
Tiny would spend most of his young life with his family at the hospital, punctuated by short visits in the Keiser home. The Keiser family was always by his side. Despite the best efforts of his physicians, chief among them Associate Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics Gary Raff, in December of 2011 Tiny lost his struggle to survive in December of 2011 at just 6 months of age.
"We made some great friends in the hospital, including Dr. Raff and his team, all of the physicians in the PICU/PCICU and his cardiologists Michael Choy and Mark Parrish," Rick Keiser said. "Everyone was amazing, from the housekeeping staff to Dr. Raff. They were incredible."
After struggling with the loss of their child, the Keisers decided to establish a commemorative race in Tiny’s honor, the Tiny Smiles Half Marathon – "the tiny half", to give back to the Children’s Hospital, and other pediatric cardiac organizations.
Tiny Smiles already has had some fundraising successes, including holding multiple blood drives and raising more than $10,000 for the UC Davis Children's Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Unit/Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. Race sponsors include Fleet Feet Sports of Stockton; Central Valley Physical Therapy; SMUD, UC Davis Children’s Hospital, The City of Galt, Pro Transport Ambulance, The Taylor Family Foundation, Spaans Cookies and more.
For more information about TinySmiles, visit www.tinysmiles.net.