After waiting 211 days for his new heart at Boston Children’s Hospital, Ari Schultz learned from his parents, Mike and Erica, that he will finally get one, and it was all captured in this emotional video. The 5-year-old boy was diagnosed with critical aortic stenosis when Erica was 18 weeks pregnant, and he’s spent his entire life in and out of the hospital, according to Echo of Hope, a blog documenting Ari’s journey.
In an emotional video that recently went viral, Ari’s heartbreakingly sweet reaction to finally getting his heart transplant. “So, I can go home, tomorrow?” Ari asked. “Not tomorrow,” his dad replied. “But soon after.”
However, after receiving his new heart,his body started to reject the heart. “Ari is struggling mightily,” Ari’s dad, Mike Schultz, wrote on their blog, Echo of Hope.”He went downhill and needed operations and procedures every day this week. On the day of procedures kids can’t eat. Ari had his food and water taken away every day.”
“The pokes and sticks were relentless. The rejection treatment, which takes a while, is horribly uncomfortable.”
Then things got even worse for the family: On a rare trip home from the hospital, they found mushrooms growing behind a switch plate in their house. Upon further inspection, they discovered black mold growing on the walls, ceilings, and floors of their house.
After meeting with a structural engineer and a contractor who called it a “sick house,” they realized it would be “safer and less risky for the family” to completely tear their house down and start from scratch — all of which will not be covered by their insurance.
After resisting their friends’ suggestions to set up a GoFundMe page to help cover costs, the Schultz family finally gave in after facing these two final blows. In less than two weeks, they’ve already raised over $183,000 of their $500,000 goal to cover medical bills and new building expenses. They’re also looking for anyone willing to donate their time and expertise in the following areas as they rebuild their home:
Architect / designer to put together plans for new house
Concrete / foundation contractor
Plaster and dry wall contractor
Want to help? You can donate money to their GoFundMe campaign or any of the above services by contacting the family’s general contractor, Andrea Rubin, at firstname.lastname@example.org.