A 4-year-old with a passion for baseball will now actually be able to attend a game or two this season after he received a new heart after 211 on the transplant waiting list.
Last year, Red Sox fan Ari Schultz was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, His parents, Mike and Erica Schultz, caught the moment they informed their son that he’d finally be getting a new heart on Friday.
“You know how you like going to baseball games, right?” Mike Schultz says.
“Oh yeah,” Ari says in the midst of swinging a pint-sized baseball bat.
“Well, Red Sox season is just about to get started, and if you get your heart really soon, maybe we can go to a Red Sox game this season,” Mike Shultz tells his son.
Ari’s father then tells him the good news: that he’s been talking with the doctors, and they think they’ve found a heart.
Ari immediately stops what he’s doing, and he seems stunned for a moment before he breaks out into a megawatt smile and confirms that he heard his father correctly.
“They found one? he asks before he resumes swinging the bat, this time in a more lively manner.
The young patient then gets down to business, asking his father when he’s “gonna get it.”
“Really soon,” Mike Shultz says.
“Are they gonna find a good place to put it?” Ari asks his parents before his mother pulls him into an embrace.
On Facebook, Eric Shultz wrote that on Friday, “the counting” for Ari’s new heart has stopped.
“If praying is what you do, now is the time, for Ari, and for Ari’s donor and family, Erica Shultz wrote on Facebook. We’ve been thinking about them, their sacrifice, their sorrow, and their immense kindness…And will every day for the rest of our lives.”
Ari received surgery later that day, which concluded in the early morning hours on Saturday, Erica Shultz said.
“The new heart is in and beating,” she wrote, saying that while Ari did “well,” he still has quite the road to recovery ahead of him.
In November, the baseball team for Assumption College in Worcester made Ari’s dreams come true when they “drafted” him to the team.
“We don’t know what his future holds, but if you look at him, you see how active he is,” Erica Schultz told WCVB at the time. “Every day, he has a zest for life.”
Now, Ari’s zest for life will only grow.
Other Must-Read Stories: