Get ready to cry all the tears. Don't worry; they're happy ones. They're the kind of tears you shed when you watch a 5-year-old baseball player being told he's finally going to get a new heart — after 211 days of waiting for a match.
Ari Schultz loves baseball. What he doesn't love so much? IVs, and being poked. (He's no dummy.) His life has had more IVs than baseball games so far, as Ari was diagnosed with critical aortic stenosis when he was still in utero.
On his family's website for their son, his parents wrote, "This meant if we didn’t intervene before he was born he would have only a two chamber heart. We did, indeed, intervene, first at 20 weeks of gestation, setting us on a wild and unexpected path.”
We'll cut to the chase: On March 3, after months and months of living as an inpatient at Boston Children's Hospital, a new heart was found for Ari. And his parents took video of the moment they told Ari the wait was finally over.
You will want your tissues. Move the cat, and put your Kleenex on your lap.
On Wednesday, Ari's parents posted news that the heart transplant was indeed a success. “As of now, he’s stable in the cardiac intensive care unit. He is deeply sedated and has a breathing tube in. He looks like he’s resting comfortably,” they said.
Ari's parents — and Ari — will always remember the donor who made it possible for Ari to start a new life (hopefully one packed full of baseball). His parents wrote on their YouTube page: “We are forever thankful for the donor and donor families' sacrifice, and will think about them every day for the rest of our lives,” they wrote. “Please, #DonateLife.”
Ari's not out of the woods. He'll need a lifetime of medication to protect him from his body rejecting the donor heart, and infection is always a possibility. His immune system will be compromised, a hard reality for his family.
Meanwhile: baseball. Think about Ari playing baseball. And rooting for the Red Sox. There, there, that's better. No, take another tissue. We totally understand.
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