The Transcript Bulletin Benefit Fund has selected the family of Jacob and Jadyn Heuser, of Tooele, as the recipients of the benefit fund for 2022.
Jacob and Jadyn have two children, Stormie, 4, and Keanu,1. Keanu was born with a rare heart abnormality called Congenitally Corrected Transposition of the Great Arteries or CCTG.
Transposition of the great arteries is a serious congenital — present at birth — heart defect, in which the two main arteries leaving the heart are reversed, or transposed.
Normally, the aorta leaves the left ventricle carrying oxygen-rich blood to the body, and the pulmonary artery leaves the right ventricle carrying oxygen-poor blood to the lungs to get oxygen. The transposition changes the way blood circulates through the body, causing a shortage of oxygen in the blood leaving the heart going to the rest of the body. Untreated, more than 50% of infants with transposition will die in the first month of life, 90 % in the first year.
The Heusers traveled to California in November for the first of three surgeries to correct the transposition performed by one of two surgeons in the country that can perform this surgery.
Keanu tolerated the surgery well and is continuing to recover at home, according to the nomination received from a friend of the family.
The Heuser family will need to continue to travel to California for surgeries and for Keanu’s check ups — travel and lodging are not covered by insurance.
During the time leading up to Keanu’s surgery the family got into their first home which was super exciting for them. It was a place that was prepared for their child to recover after surgery. Within a few months leading up to Keanu’s first surgery, Jacob was let go from his job. His income was used to secure their housing for the mortgage payment as he is the only one working given the circumstances. This created stress and has put a big financial burden on the family.
“In September, as a community we raised some funds to help with a portion of their house payment, travel and lodging funds for California,” read the nomination. “The family is still struggling with keeping up with house payments, bills, saving for more travel expenses, let alone having money to provide for Christmas. This family needs a break from bad news. This would be a blessing and provide some peace and security that would help them focus on what’s needed most.”
This will be the 45th year for the Tooele Transcript Bulletin Benefit fund, which has been held every Christmas since 1977. Each year the benefit fund helps either an individual or family faced with a unique need or hardship. Individuals or families are nominated by readers and selected by the newspaper. Readers then donate cash or make other contributions.
The Transcript Bulletin Benefit Fund is a non-profit organization recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) charity.
All proceeds will be presented to the family.
Donations for this year’s benefit fund can be mailed to: Transcript Bulletin Christmas Benefit Fund, P.O. Box 390, Tooele, Utah 84074. They can also be dropped off at the Transcript Bulletin’s office at 58 N. Main Street, south of Tooele City Hall.