5-Year-Old Heart Transplant Patient Ari Schultz Has Died

PEOPLE |  Dave Quinn , Caitlin Keating

The 5-year-old Massachusetts boy who captivated the Internet in March with his sweet reaction to news he’d be receiving a heart transplant has died.

Ari Schultz earned the nickname “Danger” by his family for his brave attitude amid his long health battle — one that put him through more than 10 operations, including the aforementioned heart transplant.

His family announced the news of his death on Facebook Friday — writing “Ari passed away peacefully this evening listening to the Red Sox.”

Genna Rosenberg, a friend of the Schultz family, tells PEOPLE that she will fondly remember Ari, who the “world fell in love with.”

“It’s heartbreaking,” she said. “Ari Schultz lived a remarkable life in his five short years, surrounded by family, friends and sports, which he loved more than anything. The Schultz family bravely and selflessly shared Ari’s harrowing story with the heart community and the world, to shine a light on children’s heart disease, the miracles of science, and the power of hope. They invited us along on Ari’s journey, and we got to know the pint-sized, but larger than life sports icon. The world fell in love with Ari. He seized each day with the most incredible enthusiasm, and a place for himself straight into the hearts of strangers who watched and rooted for Ari and his new heart. Continue reading
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