Boy who waited 211 days for new heart faces health issues as family is forced to tear down home

A Boston boy who spent 211 days waiting for a heart transplant is now being treated for acute rejection while his parents deal with a major mold issue that has turned the family’s home into a “sick house.”  Ari Schultz, 5, has been at Boston Children’s Hospital since December, and received his donated heart on March 3.

“Well, when it rains, it pours. When it pours, little did we know, mold was growing in the walls, floors, and ceilings of our house,” Schultz wrote. “At first we thought we’d remediate the mold, fix the leaks, and put the house back together. Turns out, it’s not that simple.”

“Ari is struggling mightily,” Mike Schultz, Ari’s father, wrote in a blog post. “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.”

Ari was born with a serious congenital heart defect and underwent two correctable surgeries in the womb. Since his 2012 birth, he has had three open-heart surgeries and 12 different procedures, Wicked Local reported. He was placed on the transplant list when doctors determined he was suffering from congestive heart failure.

Schultz wrote that he began to think about being able to take Ari home last week when he had been showing signs of improved health. But, an ultrasound indicated his body was rejecting the new organ, and they began him on a treatment regimen that Schultz described as “horribly uncomfortable.” Additionally, Schultz and his wife, Erica, who had been alternating staying with Ari at the hospital and at home with their other two children, Lexi and Eli, discovered severe mold growing in their home.

Schultz wrote that when they pulled out the mold, more health hazards revealed themselves behind the walls, including mold that now requires the family to tear the house down. He said their contractor called the conditions a “sick house.” A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family to help cover building expenses, while donations for materials, architectural designs and other building necessities are also being accepted.

“Someday, we’ll be able to express our gratitude properly,” Schultz wrote of the overwhelming support. “For now, our sincerest thank you will have to do as we turn our attention back to Ari, keep the family together, and build a new home for Ari to go to when he wins his terrible battle.”