PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - 26 that's the number of surgeries a 5-month-old girl from Arizona has had. The latest surgery happened Wednesday at CHOP the only place her parents say will help her.
"I look at her and she is such a fighter. Two hospitals gave up on her," her mom said.
Melissa Gomez knew her 5-month-old baby girl was a warrior. So when according to Melissa, when doctors in Phoenix told her it was time to let little Ariah go, Melissa turned to the city that doesn't give up on anyone and to the medical staff at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
"It was hard there were times I thought they're doctors they know what they're talking about but then I'd see she had so much fight left it was like her looking at you--no you can't give up on me mom," Melissa said. "So when they accepted her here in Philadelphia that's when I just knew this little girl was going to keep going."
At her airport hotel Melissa shared photos while baby stays in the NICU. This is the young mom's new temporary home. 2,000 miles away from all they know. Ariah's dad is here as well.
"In my heart I knew she's holding on so I have to hold on for her," Gomez said.
She was born with gastroschisis--a condition where the baby is born with her intestines outside of her body. Complications have left Ariah with a long journey ahead--problems with her lymphatic system that doctors at CHOP are working on and someday she'll need an organ transplant. The family arrived Monday. On Wednesday, it was 10 hours of surgery on her tiny body and the news they'll be in Philadelphia for months instead of weeks. Melissa says she's already gotten one thing no one else has even offered.
"They're giving me a lot more hope than what I had out there," she said.
Melissa is on the waiting list for the Ronald McDonald House.
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