For the past 189 days, one Massachusetts five-year-old has spent nearly every second inside the Boston Children’s Hospital, dreaming of the day he would finally get to go home.
For more than half a year, Ari Schultz has been living at the hospital as he underwent numerous heart surgeries to try and fix a rare congenital heart defect. Ari was “diagnosed at his 18-week ultrasound with critical aortic stenosis and evolving hypoplastic left heart syndrome,” the Shultz family explained. “This meant if we didn’t intervene before he was born, he would have only a 2 chamber heart. We did, indeed, intervene, first at 20 weeks of gestation, setting us on a wild and unexpected path.”
Doctors performed two heart surgeries before Ari was even born, and then replaced three of his heart valves after he was born. But when it became clear that these were only temporary fixes, they started looking for a heart donor. This past March, Ari underwent heart transplant surgery, but suffered a cardiac arrest and went into a coma for two weeks. “When he arrested on March 22 we had no idea if Ari would come back to us at all,” the family wrote. “And, if he did, whether our little boy would still be anything near the same. Against all odds, he did. He’s here.”
After so many long and trying months, Ari’s parents found out he was finally healthy enough to go home and filmed the moment they shared the exciting news with him. “Two days!” Ari exclaimed in the video, which was filmed the Wednesday before his Friday release. Unsurprisingly, the first thing the baseball-obsessed little boy wanted to do when he got home was visit a baseball field and then practice his golf swing in the backyard.
While Ari still needs to take 21 medications, have bi-weekly infusions, and needs oxygen for a while, the Schultz family is just thrilled to finally be whole again.
Watch the entire video below to see the amazing moment this 5-year-old finds out he’s finally going home after 189 days in the hospital.
Can you believe how long this little boy has been in the hospital? Let us know what you think in the comments below and please SHARE this with friends on Facebook.
[Featured image: AriEchoOfHope]