NEW ORLEANS -- The New Orleans area community is now rallying around a 5-month old baby boy born with a hole in his stomach and fighting for his life.
Baby Hayze Hart was born at Ochsner Baptist Hospital with Gastroschisis, a rare birth defect.
"It's where his abdomen in utero doesn't fully close and his intestines end up growing outside of his body," Hayze's mother Catherine Consolini said.
Hayze has been in the neonatal intensive care unit since birth.
Family members said despite 5 surgeries and painful medical complications, Hayze has a personality that would melt your heart.
"He forever has a smile on his face, no matter if he just came out of surgery and he's waking up and he's groggy, he's smiling," Hayze's great-grandmother Mary Swazey said.
Additional surgeries are needed and Hayze's liver is now at risk because of the medications he's taking.
Family members are now trying to fly the baby to Boston Children's Hospital where doctors specialize in his condition.
"It's the number one hospital for his rare birth defect," Consolini said. "The physicians there are specially trained in his condition."
His mother revealed the baby's health insurance won't cover the cost to get him to Boston.
"They say that a transport is not medically necessary, so now it's 100 percent financially on us to get him better care," Consolini said. "He needs a plane to get him there within a few hours of being discharged from the hospital that he's in now."
She said the price tag on a medical transport is upwards of $28,000. The baby would also have to travel with NICU nurse and he is currently attached to four machines.
"He's a precious baby who needs help and so we're just trying to get him the best help that we can," Hayze's aunt Mitzi Jobe said.
Hayze's family set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to pay for a medical flight.
"We're all determined one way or another that we're going to get him there, no matter what it takes," Jobe said. "If we have to go door to door, we're going to get him to Boston."
The family wants you to know that Hayze is doing his part and fighting to get better. They are hoping with the community's help, this little boy will get the medical care he needs to overcome his health challenges and finally come home.
"We would really appreciate any consideration that they can provide us, their support, their prayers and obviously the financial help is the key thing," Hayze's great-grandfather Joe Bekeris said.
Baby Hayze's mother was in Boston on Thursday, where she says Children's Hospital is willing to help with some medical expenses, if she can get her baby to Boston.
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