Many of us don't like spending a single night away from home, let alone in a hospital. But 5-year-old Ari Shultz has taken his 211 days at Boston Children's Hospital like a champ. Still, he was pretty excited to hear that he might get to go home soon.
In a video posted to Facebook on March 3, Ari's parents told him that the hospital had found him a donor heart and he'd be getting a transplant later that day.
Ari has been battling heart failure his whole life. He was diagnosed with critical aortic stenosis at his mother's 18-week ultrasound, before he was even born. "This meant if we didn’t intervene before he was born he would have only a 2 chamber heart," his parents wrote on a website about Ari. "We did, indeed, intervene, first at 20 weeks of gestation, setting us on a wild and unexpected path."
When they told him that he'd be getting a new heart, Ari was understandably excited — if a little confused on his anatomy.
"Are they gonna find a good spot to put it?" he asked his parents. While his mom answered with a simple, "Of course they are," Ari's dad probed a little further. "Where do you think they're going to put it?" he asked.
Ari pointed to the left side of his stomach and confidently said, "Right here."
Though he might have been a little confused about what his operation actually entails, Ari was ready. He was looking forward to having the surgery that day, and getting to go home soon after.
In the video post, Ari's parents asked for prayers for a safe surgery and for the family of Ari's donor.
"If praying is what you do, now is the time, for Ari, and for Ari's donor and family," his parents wrote on the Facebook post. "We've been thinking about them, their sacrifice, their sorrow, and their immense kindness non stop. And will every day for the rest of our lives."
Ari's heart transplant went well, and his new heart started beating in his chest around 11:30pm on March 3, his parents wrote in the blog. "As of now, he’s stable in the cardiac intensive care unit," they wrote. "He is deeply sedated and has a breathing tube in. He looks like he’s resting comfortably."
If all goes well, Ari will get to go home within the next few months.