There is no place like home. This phrase comes to mind when we are traveling, visiting distant family, or even at work. Many of us love our homes, but most of us can’t imagine what it is like to be kept away from our homes for an entire 6 months. This young boy knows the true value of being able to go home.
Meet Ari Schultz, a strong young boy who has already overcome tremendous obstacles. Before he was even born, Ari dealt with serious health problems. At his 18 week ultrasound, Ari was diagnosed with critical aortic stenosis and evolving hypoplastic left heart syndrome. “This meant if we didn’t intervene before he was born he would have only a 2 chamber heart,” Ari’s parents explained on Echo of Hope. The news was heartbreaking and overwhelming to the expecting couple, but they never lost faith in their son. Instead, they focused on doing what they could to give him the best life possible.
Ari underwent aortic valve repair surgery in utero. The young boy spent the first five years of his life in and out of the hospital. He certainly faced a lot of challenges, but Ari stayed positive the entire time. He worked hard for good health by focusing his energy on sports. “He’s a rabid sports fan and loves being on the Assumption College Baseball Team,” Ari’s parents shared. “[He] is mesmerized discovering the world [of] Harry Potter, adores his sister Lexi and brother Eli, and is a good kid all around.” Ari’s passion for life continually inspires hope in those around him.
Recently, Ari was hospitalized at the Boston Children’s Hospital. He began to suffer from congestive heart failure as he waited for a heart transplant. He lived as an inpatient at the hospital for 189 days – over half of a year! Despite all this, Ari is an extremely positive person. When his dad told him he would finally be allowed to go home in just two days, the young boy’s excitement went through the roof. “Yeah! TWO DAYS!” Ari exclaimed, showing up the number two with his fingers. He could hardly believe the amazing news.
Ari’s parents were so grateful that they would finally be able to take their son home with them. When they asked him what he wanted to do, Ari let his passion for sports shine through. The boy expressed his desire to “maybe go to a baseball field, and after…practice my golf swing.” He even wanted to shoot some hoops. Ari is determined not to let anything stand in the way of his dreams.
This boy’s positivity and determination are an inspiration to anyone facing obstacles in their life. Ari proves that as long as you hold on to hope, there is nothing you can’t achieve.
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Source: Ari Echo of Hope