Ari Schultz, the 5-year-old heart recipient from Boston, finally headed home on Friday after 189 days in the hospital.
Ari went into cardiac arrest in March after receiving his new heart. His parents wrote on their blog, Echo of Hope, that they weren’t sure if Ari would ever come back to them, and if he did, whether he “would still be anything near the same.”
“Against all odds, he did,” they wrote. “He’s here.”
Since his time in the hospital, Ari has been on more than 50 different medications and has had upwards of 10 operations, including open heart surgery and emergency surgery to put him on life support.
“For the last 188 days, confined to the halls of Boston Children’s Hospital, he hasn’t gone far,” his parents wrote last week. “Yet, at the same time, he’s lived a life far more rich and full than many of us ever will.”
Ari’s parents also posted a video of the moment they told him that he would go home. In the video, he swings a baseball bat back and forth, similar to when he learned that he would be receiving a new heart after 221 days of waiting on the transplant list.
Now that Ari’s “up on his feet,” he’s ecstatic to play baseball, golf, hockey and basketball again, his parents wrote.
Ari Schultz, brave 5-year-old who underwent three open-heart surgeries, finally home after being released from the hospital after 189 days. pic.twitter.com/eGIO69DowC
— ABC News (@ABC) June 20, 2017
On Friday, which Ari renamed as “FriYay,” he finally left the confines of the walls of Boston’s Children Hospital. It had been 189 since we was admitted, 314 days since he was listed for a heart transplant and 2,073 days since his first heart surgery, before he was born.
“He still has huge hills to climb,” his parents wrote.
(H/T: ABC News)