5-Year-Old Heart Transplant Recipient Ari Schultz Dies

July 23, 2017 Updated: July 23, 2017

Ari Schultz, a 5-year-old heart transplant recipient, died in the evening of Friday July 21, his family announced on Facebook.

“Ari passed away peacefully this evening listening to the Red Sox,” his family wrote on his Facebook page. The post was been shared over 4,089 times as of writing.

News of the Massachusetts boy went viral earlier this year when his parent’s blog drew attention to his difficult medical journey that consisted of over 10 operations, including one heart transplant, ABC reports.

Ari was diagnosed at 18 weeks with critical aortic stenosis and evolving hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a complex and rare congenital heart defect, his parents said in a blog post. If they hadn’t intervened before he was born, they said, he would only have two out of his four hearts chambers.

His parents Youtube video titled “Ari’s Going Home,” about how their son was being discharged in two days after spending 187 days in the hospital, went viral. In the video, Ari is smiling as he learns that instead of waiting weeks to be discharged, it would only be a couple of days.

The day before his death, Ari’s parents, Mike and Erica Schultz, said in a Facebook post and blog that said he had been taken to Boston Children’s Hospital’s emergency department and placed on life support.

The the post said that at 4:20 a.m., they called 911 because Ari was having a seizure. “We are at Boston Children’s Hospital sorting through it right now.”

A subsequent Facebook post said that just after 10 a.m., Ari required emergency medical attention.   “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 was an ardent Red Sox fan and died just a month before he was to be the guest of honor at a Red Sox game. In another video uploaded by Ari’s family on July 20, Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez and Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts come to Ari’s home to give him some gifts and invite him to throw the first pitch at a Red Sox game on Aug. 27.

From NTD Television