Ari Schultz, 5-year-old heart transplant recipient who went viral, dies

The Massachusetts boy who went viral earlier this year after his parents' blog shed light on the five-year-old's health ordeal -- he had more than 10 operations, including one heart transplant -- died Friday, the family announced on its Facebook page.

"Ari passed away peacefully this evening listening to the Red Sox," Ari "Danger" Schultz's family wrote on its Facebook page.

The tragic news comes a day after Ari's parents, Mike and Eric Schultz, wrote on their Facebook page and blog, "Echo of Hope,' that Ari had been admitted to Boston Children's Hospital's emergency department and placed on life support.

"We called 911 at 4:19 a.m. as Ari was having a seizure," they wrote Thursday morning. "Very scary. At the hospital now. Something is going on. We don’t know what."

A few hours later, the situation took a turn for the worse. "Just after 10 a.m. Ari coded in the emergency department," read a subsequent post. "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 made news, in particular, in mid-June when his parents posted a video, titled "Ari's Going Home," of their son learning that after spending 189 days as an inpatient, 105 days since having the March 3 heart transplant, and 86 days since being in cardiac arrest, that he was being discharged in two days.

In the video, below, Ari -- wearing a Boston Red Sox jersey and swinging around a baseball bat -- is ecstatic to learn that instead of waiting weeks to be discharged, it's only a matter of days. When his father reminds him how long he's been hospitalized, Ari exclaims, "189 days? That's crazy!"

When his father asks him what he wants to do after he's discharged, Ari says, "Maybe go to a baseball field ... And after go in the backyard and practice my golf swing."

As ABC News reported at the time, Ari's release was the perfect Father's Day gift for Eric Schultz, who took his son to the golf course.

In a video released by Ari's family the same day he was rushed to the hospital, below, Red Sox catcher Christian Vasquez and shortstop Xander Bogaerts dropped off gifts and invited Ari to throw out the first pitch at a Red Sox game on Aug. 27.

Late last month Ari also met golf legend Hale Irwin at the U.S. Senior Open.

© 2017 ABC News


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