A seven-year-old girl from Alabama has taken to selling lemonade outside her family bakery to fund several brain surgeries she requires.
In a stunning indictment of the US healthcare system, the story has spread far and wide as people grow concerned about why these narratives are framed as uplifting.
Liza Scott suffered a seizure earlier this year, where doctors discovered “multiple cerebral malformations in Liza’s brain that require immediate attention to prevent further seizure, possible bleeding, hemorrhage, or stroke”, according to her mother, Elizabeth Scott.
She went on to explain that usually just one malformation would be present in these rare instances – and Liza has three. Several operations are required at Boston Children’s Hospital, 1,275 miles from her home state. Her daughter has been selling lemonade for $25 a cup ever since.
The single mother was unable to cover the healthcare costs associated with the surgery – she estimated that travelling to and staying near Boston Children’s Hospital would cost as much as $6,500 alone, with a week away from home each time one is needed. A further $7,000 was estimated to cover the intricate operations required for Liza to live a fulfilling life.
“I can’t handle it. So, I hope I make it,” the schoolgirl told local station WIAT. “My mum keeps saying I’m going to, but I feel like I’m not”.
It struck a chord with many Americans that do not believe their healthcare system is fit for purpose.
Fortunately, Liza’s story has connected with thousands of people as her mother shares the highs and lows of her journey via Facebook.
Since her story was broadcasted Liza has received $250,000 in online donations, covering her treatment and associated costs in full as well as allowing Elizabeth to give her two children stability.
Last year the CEO of leading fundraising platform GoFundMe announced that one third of the sites total donations were to support people’s medical bills. At around the same time, the number of uninsured adults in the US also reached a four year high.
“We weren’t ever set up to be a health care company and we still are not,” Rob Solomon said. “But over time, people have used GoFundMe for the most important issues they are faced with”.
Liza’s first operation is scheduled for 8 March.