Ari Schultz may be only 5 years old, but he’s one of the most passionate Boston Red Sox fans out there. And now, one of the best known thanks to a touching video posted by his parents.
Ari has endured three heart surgeries in his life, and until Friday, he spent189 consecutive days in Boston Children’s Hospital.
He had no clue when he would be released, but when his parents learned from doctors that it was a matter of days, they surprised Ari with the news that he could finally go home.
And the video has gone viral. Take a look:
This 5-year-old boy has had 3 heart surgeries in his short life. Watch his incredible reaction as he finds out he’s leaving the hospital. pic.twitter.com/DKcrz9LsP3
— ABC News (@ABC) June 16, 2017
Since the footage was posted, Red Sox president Sam Kennedy invited the boy to a game. This was after former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates asked Ari if he wanted to join him for a VIP experience.
— Pete Frates (@PeteFrates3) June 17, 2017
Simply name the date ! With you two in the house we can’t lose ! https://t.co/qTF4Py6q17
— Sam Kennedy (@skennedysox) June 17, 2017
The trip to Fenway is sure to be a dream come true, and a much needed respite for a family who has endured so much.
On March 3, he underwent a heart transplant. He battled severe rejection, spending most of his time in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. On March 22, he went into cardiac arrest and was placed on life support. Ari rallied, though, and was taken off life support March 31.
“When he arrested on March 22 we had no idea if Ari would come back to us at all,” wrote his father Mike Schultz, on the Echo of Hope blogspot on June 15. “And, if he did, whether our little boy would still be anything near the same. Against all odds, he did. He’s here.” (WickedLocal)
Crackerjacks, a Fenway breeze and “Sweet Caroline.” What a welcome back for Ari!