A five-year-old boy has died after his heartbreaking struggle with a congenital heart defect gained widespread attention online.
Ari Schultz, who was born an underdeveloped heart on the left side – died in a Boston, Massachusetts, hospital on Friday night.
His parents chronicled his surgeries, hospital stays and two-week coma online, and Ari won the support of thousands after his reaction to finding a heart transplant match in March went viral.
Ari Schultz, who was born with a congenital heart defect, died at the Boston Children’s Hospital just one month after he was finally released from the hospital
Little Ari underwent three open heart surgeries and a transplant during his hospital stay. He was also in a two-week coma
Ari’s parents Mike and Erica Schultz chronicled their son’s health problems online and thousands of people cheered on his recovery
But on Thursday, Ari’s parents said they called 911 after they found him having a seizure. He was put on life support in the hospital before he died Friday evening
Last month, Ari was finally allowed to leave the hospital after he underwent three open heart surgeries, a heart transplant and a two-week coma.
The five-year-old, who had hypoplastic left heart syndrome and aortic stenosis, was ecstatic about going home, being able to practice his golf swing and getting back to playing baseball in a touching video his parents posted on Facebook.
But the boy’s parents, Mike and Erica Schultz, said they called 911 at 4.19am on Thursday after they found Ari having a seizure.
Ari was rushed to the Boston Children’s Hospital, where he was put on life support.
‘Just after 10 a.m. Ari coded in the emergency department. He had over a half an hour of CPR and has been placed on life support in the cardiac intensive care unit. Path forward unknown,’ a second Facebook post read.
Hours later, the five-year-old ‘passed away peacefully this evening listening to the Red Sox’, his family announced.
Pictured, Ari learning a heart transplant match had been found in a video that went viral
In the video, Mike Schultz asks his son if he wants to go to a Red Sox game, and tells him it might be possible with a new heart
Ari went viral in March after his parents filmed his reaction to the news that a heart transplant match was found after 211 days of waiting.
In it, Mike Schultz asks his son if he wants to go to a Red Sox game, and tells him it might be possible with a new heart.
Ari stared in disbelief as his father told him his doctors found a ‘perfect’ match and his excitement is palpable when he asks, ‘They found one?’
The operation occurred on March 3, and his new heart starting beating at 11.32pm that night, his family wrote on his website, Echo of Hope.
Ari Schultz, shouts ‘two days!’ when his parents reveal he’s going home after his 187-day stay at the Boston Children’s Hospital in Massachusetts
He then tells his father he wants to get back to playing baseball, before he hits a home run – with the help of his mum Erica – in the make-do baseball pitch
Ari was diagnosed with the heart defect at his 18-week ultrasound.
He underwent two successful operations before he was born to ensure he would have a four-chamber heart as opposed to a two-chamber one, his family wrote on his website.
His family said the boy loved baseball, Harry Potter and his siblings.
Pictured, Ari with his sister Lexi. He was diagnosed with the heart defect at his 18-week ultrasound
He underwent two successful operations before he was even born to ensure he would have a four-chamber heart as opposed to a two-chamber one, but complications persisted