Taylee Hess is older than most of her kindergarten classmates, but that’s not why she’s one of the most advanced readers.

The six-year-old from Lacey learned how to read while recovering from heart-related surgeries at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Her first procedure came at 11 months when doctors identified a heart valve problem.

A year ago she had open heart surgery.

“Despite all the things she’s been through, she’s really happy,” said mother Heather Hess, who credits her daughter’s happiness to reading books while in recovery.

“It made her forget about what she was doing,” said Heather.

Now healthy and back home in Lacey, the Hess family is trying to help other patients heal.

Heather says Taylee wanted to give books to Seattle Children’s Hospital, so her mother organized an online fundraiser.

"We thought, what can we do to help other kids the way we have been helped?" said Heather.