Dealing with an illness is hard for anyone, but it’s even more difficult to watch your child have a life-threatening illness that requires a heart transplant. This is what happened to the Schultz family when their now 5-year-old son was diagnosed with critical aortic stenosis before he was even born, according to Echo of Hope, the website his parents set up detailing his condition.
His parents explained how Ari underwent two successful heart surgeries before being born, and has had over 20 surgeries since, resulting in having three of his four heart valves replaced. As of now, he’s also only the fifth person in the world to receive an experimental valve called the Melody valve in his mitral position.
Despite his medical condition, however, his parents say he’s just like every other kid, as he’s a “rabid sports fan and loves being on the Assumption College Baseball team, is mesmerized discovering the world of Harry Potter, adores his sister Lexi and brother Eli, and is an all around good kid.”
However, the reality was the fact that Ari needed a heart transplant in order to survive, which is why this video of his parents telling him he’ll be getting a new heart is absolutely the most heartwarming thing ever. Ari’s face absolutely lights up when he says, “They found one!?” And well, if that doesn’t make you smile and also want to cry, then I don’t know what will.
Even better yet, Ari’s family posted on Facebook that he is out of the CICU recovering from the surgery. In a previous post, the family explained how Ari’s health struggles have been a “huge challenge,” stating:
“As many of you know the last few months have been a huge challenge for our family and it’s been draining on all levels – physically, emotionally, and financially. And Ari has a long road ahead of him.”
Because of that, the family friends started a GoFundMe page for Ari; please consider donating if you are able. Check out the video of Ari for yourself below: