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Video: 5-Year Old Learns He’s Getting Heart Transplant

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huffingtonpost.com

We all know the importance of organ transplants and how life-changing they can be for people. But rarely do we get to witness the moment when a person learns they’re getting the transplant they need.

Well, that’s exactly what we have in a remarkable video featuring five-year-old Ari Schultz when he learns that he’s getting a new heart after more than 200 days of waiting.

Ari was diagnosed with critical aortic stenosis and evolving hypoplastic left heart when his mother, Erica, was just 18 weeks into her pregnancy. He had two surgeries before he was even born to help him get this far, but was still in need of a heart transplant.

After waiting for 211 days at Boston Children’s Hospital while suffering from congestive heart failure, a donor was found. Erica and Ari’s father, Mike, took video of the moment they told Ari he was going to get a new heart.

His response is stunning. As you would expect from a five-year-old, he has tons of questions but still shows signs that he’s aware of the seriousness of his condition. He’s also excited by the thought of his life after the surgery, including the possibility of attending a Red Sox game.

Ari’s surgery was performed last Friday and his father has confirmed that his new heart is beating. He remains sedated but is “resting comfortably.”

He’s expected to remain in the hospital for up to three months. Ari will undergo testing next week to see if his body is rejecting its new heart.

“We expect some level of rejection at this point, as most kids like Ari have rejection at first,” Mike says. “The hope is that it’s not too strong.”

Ari will face many challenges, especially in his first year following the surgery. But he’s managed to survive the initial surgery, giving him a fighting chance.

Ari’s parents give periodic updates on his condition at EchoOfHope.org. They have also thanked the donor’s family and are encouraging others to consider organ donation.

“We are forever thankful for the donor and donor families sacrifice and will think about them every day for the rest of our lives. Please, #DonateLife.”