A seven-year-old girl in Alabama is selling lemonade inside her mother's family-owned bakery to pay for her brain surgeries. Certain reports framing the story as a heartwarming one were asked by social media users to take a good look at an inherent problem with the healthcare system in the U.S.
Elizabeth Scott is the mother of Liza who suffered a seizure earlier this year where doctors found "multiple cerebral malformations in Liza's brain that require immediate attention to prevent further seizure, possible bleeding, hemorrhage, or stroke."
Scott explained doctors usually only spot one rare cerebral malformation but said Liza has three.
She told CBS 42:
"She has three cerebral malformations. One is what they call a schizencephaly. So it's a cleft in the frontal lobe in the right side of her brain, and we think that's what causing the seizures."
The young girl is required to have surgeries at Boston Children's Hospital, located 1,275 miles away from where they live.
Squeezing the most out of life . . . I head to Boston Children's on Thursday for my first of several brain surgerie… https://t.co/HT03hVpUij— Liza's Lemonade (liza scott) (@Liza's Lemonade (liza scott)) 1614534060.0
Scott purchased additional insurance to cover her daughter's brain surgeries, but with the nearly $10,000 in out-of-pocket expenses—including hotel and travel costs, plus medical expenses—Liza has been selling a cup of lemonade for $25 outside of Savage's Bakery in Homewood to help offset costs.
"I can't handle it. So, I hope I make it," said Liza.
"My mom keeps saying I'm going to, but I feel like I'm not."
Many disheartened by the story expressed their frustration over a flawed U.S. healthcare system.
The fact that a seven year old has to raise money for her own brain surgery is so unfathomably evil that no words c… https://t.co/gBGaAzgE65— Aidan Smith (@Aidan Smith) 1614385483.0
@WGNNews I'm so sick of articles like this. Give me a detailed explainer on why a 7-year-old girl cannot get brain… https://t.co/ahpMQOcBfA— Dan Price (@Dan Price) 1614377185.0
The American pay-to-live healthcare system is inhumane. No child should have to sell lemonade to pay for brain surg… https://t.co/AVD5ICJfCt— Brianna Westbrook (@Brianna Westbrook) 1614532525.0
This is not a feel-good story. https://t.co/PzcIaQpy6g— Gravel Institute (@Gravel Institute) 1614391456.0
Actual headline: “7 yo girl in most powerful country in the world, has to sell lemonade to pay for brain surgery, b… https://t.co/XhABikH5bu— Naveed Jamali (@Naveed Jamali) 1614535516.0
A 7 year old girl is selling lemonade for brain surgery. Yet in the same society we have BILLIONAIRES. Billionair… https://t.co/LzaipMrtLN— StanceGrounded (@StanceGrounded) 1614445600.0
"As a single mom and the financial supporter of both of my children, this is not something you can budget for."
She also started a Mighty Cause campaign so donations will help her "spunky, loving, fearless, bright, happy girl."
"Liza's love for Lemonade has inspired this next journey as we travel to Boston Children's for the unimaginable—multiple brain surgeries," wrote Scott on the fundraiser page.
"From the start Liza has taken the lemons thrown her way and shown us all that adding a little Zest to life is what making Lemonade is all about."
Scott told WIAT she is relying on her faith to stay strong for Liza:
"You know, in the moments that I feel like I can't breathe, or I'm awake in the night and I can't sleep, I pray. I'm on my hands and knees, literally, praying."
So far, the Mighty Cause fund surpassed its $75K goal with over $263K donations to date.