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Our Story

     My story begins on July 1, 1999 when I was born and soon after diagnosed with congenital heart disease (Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome HLHS).  My parents were told within 6 hours of my birth that I would need an open-heart transplant someday.  I was transferred to All Children's Hospital in Saint Petersburg, Florida and at just 6 days old, I had my first heart surgery and then had an additional 2 major open heart surgeries before I was 3 years old.  The procedure I underwent was a Norwood procedure with a Modified BT Shunt at day 6 of life and shortly after that at a few months old a Hemi-Fontan. When I was 2 years old I had the third palliative open heart procedure called a Fontan procedure. These procedures helped me and my family enjoy many good years together until I was 18 years old and enrolled as an honors student at the University of Central Arkansas.

      There have been several times when the cardiology teams have considered that a heart transplant was necessary...

Featured Post

Annual Heart Biopsy

It’s been over a year since Daniel’s heart transplant and we wanted to place an update in his COTA page. Daniel was transplant a year ago on March 27th, 2018 and for the most part from a physical standpoint had been improving and doing well with his heart. He underwent a heart cath this past Tuesd...

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Annual Heart Biopsy

It’s been over a year since Daniel’s heart transplant and we wanted to place an update in his COTA page. Daniel was transplant a year ago on March 27th, 2018 and for the most part from a physical standpoint had been improving and doing well with Continue Reading »


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Results are in

so..... The results are in and Daniel had no rejection and labs looked good Continue Reading »

Heading home - Results to follow

waiting to leave ACH, results to follow later Continue Reading »

4 Month Post Transplant Heart Biopsies

Daniel is going in for his 4 month post transplant heart biopsies. Please pray for the heart cath team and anesthesia. Will know more about the biopsy by Monday probably not by Friday. He also needs to be finishing up two more classes so he Continue Reading »

Daniel 3 Months Out

We are sorry it has been awhile since our last blog but wanted to give everyone a three month update. Daniel has been doing very well from a physical standpoint with his new heart. His check ups have had good news as far as his function goes and no Continue Reading »

6 Years ago

6 years ago Daniel recieved a pacemaker. This year a new heart. Continue Reading »

BCLR Yard Sale May19 to Raise Funds for COTA in Honor of Daniel Smith

Please check out and share this post with as many people as possible bc the yard sale may put us in reach of our $50,000 goal for COTA within 6 months. If we raise $50,000 for COTA within the first six months COTA will add $5,000 for COTA in honor Continue Reading »

Heart Biopsy and GI Procedure

Daniel did well with his heart biopsy and GI procedure in fact he probably will not need to see GI again unless a problem arises.The heart pressures were great and the pressure in the large vessel (IVC) closest to his liver was lower. This had a Continue Reading »

Heading to St Louis for check ups

Daniel is in St.Louis this morning headed back for a heart cath, biopsy, and GI check on his esophagus. Tina & Shannon Earls are there with him. Please keep him in your prayers for a safe procedure and uncomplicated intervention. I know our posts Continue Reading »

ACH Transplant Team check up

Here at ACH to see the transplant team this morning. Excited to be home and excited to start a new chapter in our lives with the help of the ACH team. Continue Reading »

Moe's Southwest Grill Event

We want to thank so many of you who came out last night to Moe's in support of COTA for Team Daniel. We know he had a great time seeing many of you that have been praying for him and keeping him in your thoughts. We are not sure what the numbers are Continue Reading »

Moe's Southwest Grill Event

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Daniel's interview with THV11 News

Here is the link to the story from last night on THV11 Continue Reading »

Daniel's Home

Look who’s home!!! Continue Reading »

Daniel's Home

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WMC Action News 5 - Arkansas teen finds new heart in St. Louis

Arkansas teen finds new heart in St. Louis Continue Reading » - Arkansas teen finds new heart in St. Louis

Arkansas teen finds new heart in St. Louis Continue Reading »

Arkansas teen finds new heart in St. Louis

Daniel has made great strides over the last couple of days and we are so thankful for the prayers of our family, friends, and those just following his story as we know these prayers were answered by a gracious God. KMOV a local CBS affiliate here in Continue Reading »

Daniel has been Improving

Daniel has been improving steadily over the last couple of days through his treatments and persistence in fighting his lung problems. He is now on a whif of oxygen on his nasal cannula and will even do laps within the unit off his oxygen. He has Continue Reading »

PT Outside

Today was a beautiful day to do PT outside. Continue Reading »

PT Outside

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Respiratory Workout

Respiratory easy pap (doesn't seem easy with chest and abdominal incisions). Daniel pressing through to get his lungs open and get rid of the fluid. Continue Reading »

Fluid in His Lungs but Heart Function and the Biopsies Were Good

1. Answer to prayer as both the heart function and the biopsies were good... news. There were no signs of rejection it was 0R (no rejection) and that's what we wanted. There are still some outstanding results we will get soon. Continue Reading »

Some Good News

Daniel is out from his heart catheterization and there is some good news to report concerning the items we have been praying about. Continue Reading »

National Sibling Day 2018

The Smith Siblings: Samuel, Faith, Daniel, Micah Continue Reading »

Monday, April 9th - Continue to Pray

Dear friends the last few days have been very busy for us with Daniel. For several days I have been the crazy ICU dad trying to tell the staff that Dan’s not right. Then yesterday while we had him out of the room he had a sudden change in his Continue Reading »

1 Week Post Heart Transplant

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Donate Life Month

Today is one week and three days post transplant and Daniel has made a miraculous recovery so far. Each day is getting a little bit better in terms of mobility, endurance, and even pain. April is Organ Awareness Month so we want to recognize the Continue Reading »

Discharge Postponed

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Daniel's Strength

I have had many people ask where Daniel gets his courage and strength when going through something like this. Those that are closet to Daniel know that he will say "My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth" Psalm 121:2 He firmly Continue Reading »

1 Week Ago Received a new Heart

Daniel Smith received his new heart a week ago today! Continue Reading »

5 Days Post-Op-Some Exciting News

Wanted to give an update on Daniel. He had his pacer wires pulled today as his heart has had a sinus rhythm for a couple of days. He continues to walk and get stronger. His appetite is not quite there and he had bouts of nausea today. There is some Continue Reading »

Post Op Day 3

Pic with Daniel post-op day #3. Faith and I are headed back to Little Rock but not before Daniel’s morning walk. Daniel had his Nitric, Milrinone, and Epinephrine weaned off today. These are all things that we’re supporting his heart. Pacer is Continue Reading »

Post Op Day 2 Walking The Halls

Daniel Walking the Hall Day 2 Post Op Heart Transplant video Continue Reading »

Post Op Day 2

Daniel is doing better sorry for the late post but he got all four of his chest tubes out today. He graduated to just using a nasal cannula in his nose for breathing. He is much more awake today a lucid so he’s talking more. Heart is still paced Continue Reading »

Day 2 Post-op

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Sitting Up

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Sitting up

Sorry or the late update on Daniel but its been a long day so far. His vitals have been more stable and his heart is still being paced but he is not competing with it. He was able to get up to a chair for awhile today but needed support for his Continue Reading »

Rough Night

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Post Transplant 8:00 PM update

Update on Daniel’s Heart Transplant. He has not been in a normal sinus rhythm since coming out of the OR. They have been pacing him but tonight they have had to change the settings to get both the top & bottom of the heart to work appropriately. Continue Reading »

Daniel's Post Transplant Update

Daniel's chest is closed and there is minimal bleeding. He should be in the room within an hour. The surgeon feels his breathing tube could be out today; however, they are keeping it in for now and maybe later today it will be removed. The surgeon Continue Reading »

Daniel Has a New Heart

Heart is in Daniel’s chest no pictures though. We think they are pleased with function so far. Awaiting the chest to be more “dry” before they close it. Please ...pray for the hearts function and that bleeding would not be an issue and pray Continue Reading »

Transplant 3/28

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Post Surgery in CICU

He’s out of surgery in the CICU and they pulled his breathing tube. He talked to us but is still out of it and will be resting. His first concerns for the day ‘when can I eat’. They will be looking at his pressures and heart function today and Continue Reading »

Daniel rejoicing before heading to OR

Daniel rejoicing before heading to the OR and the next picture is him now on bypass because the heart is here! Thank you for your prayers. Continue Reading »

Daniel’s surgery pushed back to 9pm Central time

Daniel’s surgery pushed back to 9pm Central time related to weather. He will go to OR at 9pm and they will begin the process of preparing his chest to receive t...he new heart. This will take 3-4 hours then the heart will arrive and be sewn in. Continue Reading »

Pre-Transplant March 27th

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Received The Call - Transplant Day

It was a usual morning till Dan called at 0730 which meant only two things; something was amiss or they had a heart for him today. The words came slowly for him because, quite frankly, he is usually asleep at this time but he said they accepted a Continue Reading »


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Physical Therapy to Keep In Shape

Many people have wanted to know if Daniel basically sits aroundin the hospital room waiting for heart with not much to do. He keeps bust with his college classwork most of the time. However, he does get time on most days and at least several days Continue Reading »

COTA fundraising at eSTEM

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Daniel's Fighting Illness

We just found out tonight that Daniel is sick with flu like symptoms. They have swabbed him and done blood cultures from his line and from his arm. The initial swabs were negative for flu but there have been many false negatives within the first 24 Continue Reading »

Faith & Daniel Coin Drive for COTA at eSTEM

Faith & Daniel COTA eSTEM Continue Reading »

Daniel Missions Conference

This week at BCLR (Bible Church of Little Rock) the church had its annual missions conference focusing on the local ministries that the church is involved in. One of those ministries is the Juvenile Detention Center in Little Rock headed up by Continue Reading »

Family Gaming

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Family Gaming

     Today was a serious gaming day as Samuel, Daniel, and I participated in some of our favorite card games. We played one of our family favorites Exploding Kittens which is not detrimental to cats but always has us laughing at the cards. Then Continue Reading »

Special Day

Daniel has been in the hospital for 25 days and the cardiology team wanted him to have something to look forward to so he got a short pass to go see one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's newest releases "Black Panther". Samuel and I drove up early Continue Reading »

College at the Bedside

     We want to take the time to thank UCA (University of Central Arkansas) for their commitment to work with Daniel this semester. Dr. Patricia Smith, the dean of the honors college, has been supportive of Dan starting with Daniel's Continue Reading »

Daniel's Norwood

Stage I the Norwood procedure provides the patient with circulation to the body by using the right ventricle as the main pump and the circulation to the lungs comes from a shunt or conduit that is placed from an artery or from the right ventricle to Continue Reading »

Daniel's Beginning, HLHS

     Many of you know that Daniel has had a congenital heart problem since birth but many have wondered what it is and why Daniel needs a heart transplant. Daniel has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome or (HLHS) which basically means that the Continue Reading »

St Louis for Check ups

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Pace Maker May 18, 2012

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Happy Discharge Day Locally in St Louis

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Post Op Day 3

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Daniel's Ministry

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Hospital College Dorm

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