When last we talked about Ari, he had just gone home after a 189 day stay in Boston Children’s Hospital, after receiving a heart transplant.
Ari had a fantastic month at home. He went to the ball field several times, played hoops at the old house, had lobster in Maine while visiting Grammy, and got to meet some golf greats at the U.S. Senior Open at the Salem Country Club.
He went to his first concert; a Grateful Dead tribute band. He also had some fun visits with the baseball guys from Assumption College, in between PS4 games.
Probably most memorable was a home visit from Boston Red Sox catcher Christian Vasquez, and shortstop Xander Bogaerts, (Ari’s favorite player.) They came bearing gifts; a shirt, glove, ball, and catcher’s mask. They also offered Ari to throw out the first pitch at the August 27th Red Sox game! They played baseball, and flag football, and read some stories together! What a great day!
Medically, however, Ari had not been improving. On July 20th at 4:19 a.m., he had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital, because he was having a seizure. A little after 10 AM that same day, Ari coded in the emergency department. He was placed on life support, after over a half an hour of CPR. On the evening of July 21st, Ari’s heart just gave out. His parents wrote on his Facebook page that Ari “passed away peacefully listening to the Red Sox game”.
Ari “Danger” Schultz
It is amazing to me the number of people that this little man has touched in his 5 short years. Many of whom have never even met him. I myself, though distantly related, only saw him in person once. Errol was having one of his procedures at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, and Ari and his parents were there, but still was definitely emotionally invested in the well-being of Ari. Through his dad’s posts, I felt as if I knew him, and knew him well, as I’m sure others did. His grandmother noted in a post that the doctors and nurses at BCH lined up in the hallway to say goodbye to Ari, and a Boston TV channel, interviewing Xander Bogaerts after Ari’s passing, noted his becoming “choked up”. I am so thankful that Ari got to spend the last month at home, with his family, doing what he loved most.
There is no doubt that Ari was a special little boy. He will be remembered for a lot longer than he was here. His strength, and perseverance, and his ‘love of life’ attitude, made anyone around him smile. Because of Ari’s story, a greater awareness was made about the importance of organ donation, and signing up to be a donor. Ari’s legacy will continue to live on for years to come. I will miss the smiles that would show up randomly on my Facebook feeds, but am so thankful that I got to “know” this special guy. Godspeed Ari, the angels are in for a treat!
There will be a Celebration of Ari’s Life on August 19, 2017 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. for anyone who wishes to attend.