A five-year-old whose joyful reaction to getting a heart transplant won him millions of supporters online has sadly passed away just weeks after the operation.
Ari ‘Danger’ Schultz, a huge Red Sox fan from Boston, Massachusetts, was given a heart transplant to treat his life-threatening congenital heart defect last month.
After enduring three open heart surgeries and a two-week coma, Ari was finally allowed to go home.
But yesterday his parents shared the sad news that ‘Ari passed away peacefully this evening listening to the Red Sox’ in a Facebook post:
Ari’s congenital heart defect left him with an undeveloped heart on the left hand side and his parents documented his ongoing health struggles since he was diagnosed at his 18-week ultrasound.
The young boy discovered doctors had found him a ‘perfect’ match for a heart transplant in March this year, after 211 days of waiting and Ari won the affections and support of the nation, when his gleeful reaction to the news went viral.
You can watch that wonderful moment below:
211 days ago Ari was officially listed for a heart transplant. Today the counting stops. If praying is what you do, now is the time, for Ari, and for Ari's donor and family. We've been thinking about them, their sacrifice, their sorrow, and their immense kindness non stop. And will every day for the rest of our lives. Now, for Ari, it's go time.
Posted by Ari "Danger" Schultz on Friday, 3 March 2017
However, after returning home from the operation to cure his hypoplastic left heart syndrome and aortic stenosis, Ari was rushed to Boston Children’s Hospital when he suffered a seizure on Thursday night.
A fraught Facebook post from his parents, Mike and Erica Schultz, read:
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.
Ari died an hour later, surrounded by family and doing what he loved best – listening to the Red Sox.
Our thoughts are Ari’s family at this difficult time.