1001Smiles.com: How a little boy who lost his own life ended up giving life-changing surgery to 1,000 suffering children...

   Sean Denlinger's "1001 Smiles" Project   


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Sean Denlinger was a happy, special-needs toddler in preschool when he fell victim to a series of tragic medical mishaps at, JDCH, a well-known children's hospital in Broward County, Florida (USA).


After spending one year living in three different hospitals trying to survive horrible complications that followed these initial mishaps, Sean finally lost his fight after indescribable suffering. He was 3 years old when he died.


During Sean's final moments, mom whispered a promise to Sean: a vow that somehow, the family would make sure he had not suffered, and lost, in vain.


Sean's parents. Michele & Chad Denlinger, filed medical malpractice lawsuit against Joe Dimaggio Children's Hospital, hoping for some measure of justice and possibly to win a settlement that could help other children and ensure Sean had indeed not died in vain.


Researching charities that could make a direct impact on the most children, Sean's family decided to donate possible funds to Smile Train, which provides free cleft lip/palate surgery in 60+ countries.


After six long years of a very painful legal battle, Sean's parents accepted a modest

 out-of-court settlement that would fulfill that promise to Sean and their greatest wish:

FREE CLEFT LIP/PALATE SURGERY TO 1,000 CHILDREN on behalf of little Sean

New Years Day 2010, Sean's family was finally able to meet some of the children whose lives were repaired, giving his incredible tragedy the most profound meaning anyone could have ever imagined...



Sean's "1001 Smiles" Project: 


Celebration at GS Memorial Hospital- Varanasi, India

(Hosted by Smile Train and GS Memorial Hospital)

Expecting to just meet a few kids in their hospital beds, we walked in to the surprise of a packed room of SOME of our "1001 Smiles" kids who had just had clefts repaired (still a bit sore), parents, Smile Train surgeon Dr. Subodh Singh and community supporters- all waiting to celebrate a New Year's Day ceremony for our family and Sean. Throughout our time in India, Smile Train Region Director Satish Kalra, Program Managers (featured on "Amazing India Pics" link) and GS Memorial treated us like FAMILY rather than donors.


Thank you to the loving staff at Smile Train, and also to some very special persons who helped us along the way,

for blessing us with the joy of finally meeting some of the actual children that our Sean's loss helped to save.




There were many more pictures taken and more kids there that afternoon,

but these are just a few main highlights of this beautiful day.


We waited so long for this moment; only a few persons truly know how much we endured to get here. We wished they could share in this day...

To actually hold some of the children whose lives were repaired as a result of our own son's loss was too overwhelming to describe.


Also overwhelming: the grateful parents who offered up their children for us to hold because they knew why they had finally been helped.


We feel like we've left part of Sean behind in India- living on in all these incredibly sweet children.











Through one small boy's inspiration,

the efforts of a  small team of dedicated persons and Smile Train's ingenuity,

the 1,000 children helped will now have a chance at HAPPINESS and a more normal life:

school, friends, employment, even to marry someday.




Meet Sean Denlinger:

Smile Number 1001 !!


The ripple effect of

Sean's "1001 Smiles" Project

can never be measured, but it is certain

that future generations will be created

where none would have even existed


...making this a story that truly has no end.











This website is privately hosted/maintained and is a work in progress, still under construction.









Sean Denlinger 1001 Smiles:  the story of how little Sean Denlinger, victim of alleged malpractice, saved 1,000 children through the 1001smiles project.