The 5-year-old heart transplant recipient who celebrated his impending release from the hospital after a 189-day stay with a home run, died on Friday, just one month after going home. According to a post on the Ari “Danger” Schultz Facebook page, the mega-Red Sox fan died while listening to his favorite team play.
The family had updated supporters on Ari’s month at home following his June 16 release from Boston Children's Hospital, but on July 20 they posted saying that he had suffered a seizure and was re-admitted. He had been placed on life support after coding, but did not recover.
“Ari passed away peacefully this evening listening to the Red Sox,” a July 21 post on the Facebook page read.
Ari, who was diagnosed with critical aortic stenosis and evolving hypoplastic left heart syndrome while in utero, had won the hearts of thousands after his parents shared a video of him celebrating the news of a long-awaited hospital release while wearing a Red Sox jersey and swinging a baseball bat.
In the video, he ticks off visiting a baseball field, practicing basketball and working on his golf swing as activities he was most looking forward to at home. He then imitated his favorite player, Xander Bogaerts, knocking a two-run home run out of the park.
While he was home from the hospital, Ari got a special visit from Red Sox catcher Christian Vasquez, and Bogaerts, who gave him a new jersey and catcher’s mask. They also invited him to throw the first pitch at Fenway Park on August 27.
After learning of Ari’s death, the Red Sox tweeted a picture of him after a hospital visit from some teammates.
“Some fans make an instant impact on our team. Ari Schultz, with his optimism & unbridled excitement, is at the top. We’ll miss you Ari,” the tweet said.