AP

7-year-old Alabama girl helps to fund her own brain surgery

HOMEWOOD, Ala. (AP) — Liza Scott, 7, started a lemonade stand at her mom’s bakery last summer so she could buy some frills like toys and sequined high-heel shoes. The bouncy little girl is still in business months later, yet the money is going toward something entirely different: surgery on her brain.

Last month, doctors determined a series of seizures that Liza began suffering were caused by cerebral malformations that needed repair, said her mother, Elizabeth Scott. Always eager to help out and with an eye toward entrepreneurship after a childhood spent around a small business, the little girl volunteered to help raise money for her upcoming operation.

Located near the cash register of Savage's Bakery in suburban Birmingham, her stand of bright pink and yellow wooden crates offers lemonade for a quarter, plus other treats. But people are putting in a lot more as word spreads of her medical condition and her attitude.

“I’ve got a $20 bill, and a $50 bill and a $10 bill and a $5 bill and a $100 bill,” Liza said Tuesday as she counted donations from the morning.

Liza was still in the hospital after suffering two major seizures when she came up with the idea to help out with the stand, said her mom, who also has a preschool-age boy.

“I told her, ‘You don’t have to do that,’” Elizabeth Scott said. “There’s no expectation of her doing anything to help pay the bills. I’m a single mom, I take care of my kids on my own."

Yet Liza wanted to help, and she has. Her little stand has made more than $12,000 in a few days — nearly all through donations.

“She likes being part of the team. This is something she can really take ownership of,” Scott said.

While Liza’s story has warmed plenty of hearts, some are outraged over the idea that a child facing brain surgery would feel a need to raise funds for her own care. The story is yet another sign that the U.S. health system is broken beyond repair and driving families into bankruptcy, critics say.

Despite having good insurance through the popular bakery she runs with her father, Elizabeth Scott could quickly see that she was still going to be responsible for some "pretty exorbitant" expenses. So, she also set up an online fundraiser.

“Just one week in the hospital and the ambulance rides is more than my monthly salary, and that’s without the surgery and travel expenses," she said. "I can’t fund that by myself, and we have a business to support.”

Friends, family and others who have been touched by Liza’s story have already donated more than $300,000.

A bubbly little girl who likes Barbie dolls, dressing up — and lemonade — Liza hadn't shown any signs of major health problems until Jan. 30, her mom said.

“She had a massive seizure at 5 in the morning and it lasted like 45 minutes,” said Elizabeth Scott. Another one occurred hours later. It was a few days before tests revealed Liza had three malformations that were both causing the seizures and posing a risk of rupture that could lead to a stroke or other problems.

Now on medication, Liza was quickly accepted as a patient at Boston Children's Hospital, where a representative said Dr. Ed Smith, a neurosurgeon, and Dr. Darren Orbach, an interventional radiologist, will be part of a team set to operate Monday. The family will fly to Boston on Thursday, and Liza could need follow-up visits into her 30s, her mother said.

Liza said she enjoys helping with her stand, where she makes the lemonade and puts donations in a big jar. “It's better than just begging,” she said.

Temporarily out of school because of her condition, the girl is spending a lot of time at the bakery running the stand and playing with her dolls. A whirlwind of energy, she runs from one spot to the next, climbs atop a table in an empty room and swings upside down on a handrail as her mother speaks to a well-wisher.

In a quiet moment, Liza said she is trying not to think too much about what she called “my brain thingy.”

“I'm not worried, but I'm afraid,” she said.

Read more

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!

AP
  • Updated

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (AP) — A 15-year-old boy shot at an Arkansas junior high school earlier this week died Wednesday, officials said.

AP
  • Updated

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A decision by Idaho lawmakers to reject a $6 million federal grant to improve early childhood education — and comments from one lawmaker who said mothers belong at home — raised the ire of women across the state.

AP
  • Updated

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas' power grid manager was fired Wednesday amid growing calls for his ouster following February's deadly blackouts that left millions of people without electricity and heat for days in subfreezing temperatures.

AP
  • Updated

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Wayne Ellington scored 25 points and the Detroit Pistons beat the virus-depleted Toronto Raptors 129-105 on Wednesday night to snap a three-game losing streak.

AP
  • Updated

SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korea’s central bank says the country’s economy shrank for the first time in 22 years in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic destroyed service industry jobs and depressed consumer spending.

AP
  • Updated

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Former NFL player Kellen Winslow II was sentenced Wednesday to 14 years in prison for multiple rapes and other sexual offenses against five women in Southern California, including one who was homeless when he attacked her in 2018.

AP
  • Updated

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday rejected calls for his resignation in the face of sexual harassment allegations that have threatened his hold on power and damaged his national political standing.

AP
  • Updated

DALLAS (AP) — Marie Tippit, the widow of the Dallas police officer killed by Lee Harvey Oswald about 45 minutes after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, has died. She was 92.

AP
  • Updated

Legislators in more than 20 states have introduced bills this year that would ban transgender girls from competing on girls’ sports teams in public high schools. Yet in almost every case, sponsors cannot cite a single instance in their own state or region where such participation has caused …

AP
  • Updated

In the opening moments of a Golden Globes night even more chaotic and confounding than usual, co-host Tina Fey raised a theoretical question: “Could this whole night have been an email?” Only the next three hours would tell.

AP

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX’s futuristic Starship looked like it aced a touchdown Wednesday, but then exploded on the landing pad with so much force that it was hurled into the air.

AP
  • Updated

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — After getting $500 per month for two years without rules on how to spend it, 125 people in California paid off debt, got full-time jobs and reported lower rates of anxiety and depression, according to a study released Wednesday.

AP
  • Updated

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Cities along the Mississippi River will take part in a global system to determine where plastic pollution comes from and how it ends up in waterways as a first step toward solving the problem, officials said Wednesday.

AP
  • Updated

DALLAS (AP) — The end of Texas' mask mandate is giving Lucy Alanis second thoughts about one of her occasional indulgences during the coronavirus pandemic: dining in at restaurants.

AP
  • Updated

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi’s largest city is still struggling with water problems more than two weeks after winter storms and freezing weather ravaged the system in Jackson, knocking out water for drinking and making it impossible for many to even flush their toilets.

AP
  • Updated

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Family members of South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem received more than $600,000 in funds from a state grant program pushed by the governor that directed federal coronavirus relief funds to small businesses.

AP
  • Updated

SEATTLE (AP) — For more than a decade, Brad Hanson and other researchers have tailed the Pacific Northwest's endangered killer whales in a hard-sided inflatable boat, leaning over the edge with a standard pool skimmer to collect clues to their diet: bits of orca poop floating on the water, o…

AP
  • Updated

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah is one hurdle away from stricter rules regulating treatment centers for troubled teens, weeks after Paris Hilton gave emotional testimony in support of the bill.

AP
  • Updated

HOLTVILLE, Calif. (AP) — The 13 people killed in one of the deadliest highway crashes involving migrants sneaking into the U.S. had entered California through a section of border fence with Mexico that was cut away, apparently by smugglers, immigration officials said Wednesday.

AP
  • Updated

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The University of South Carolina’s first African American basketball star, a former NBA veteran running unopposed with the governor's backing, would appear to be a slam dunk for election to a full term on the school’s Board of Trustees.

AP
  • Updated

MERIDEN, Conn. (AP) — Jill Biden, the teacher in the White House, along with new Education Secretary Miguel Cardona went back to school Wednesday in a public push to show districts that have yet to transition back to in-person learning that it can be done safely during the pandemic.

AP
  • Updated

Buoyed by a surge in vaccine shipments, states and cities are rapidly expanding eligibility for COVID-19 shots to teachers, Americans 50 and over and others as the U.S. races to beat back the virus and reopen businesses and schools.

AP
  • Updated

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — At the beginning of 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine was working on plans to battle algae blooms in Lake Erie, crack down on distracted driving, and figure out a way to save an Ohio minor league baseball team.

AP
  • Updated

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The evidence implicating an Oklahoma death row inmate whose case has drawn national attention is overwhelming and his application for a commutation is filled with “demonstrable falsehoods," Oklahoma County's top prosecutor wrote in a letter this week to the state's Pardo…

AP
  • Updated

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard on Wednesday suspended the search in waters off Alaska for an overdue helicopter piloted by the former head of Alaska’s largest tribal health care organization, who resigned last week after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against him.

AP
  • Updated

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — America's infrastructure has scored near-failing grades for its deteriorating roads, public transit and storm water systems due to years of inaction from the federal government, the American Society of Civil Engineers reports. Its overall grade: a mediocre C-.

AP
  • Updated

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago's mayor on Wednesday proposed changes in the way police serve search warrants, the latest move to regain public trust that was damaged when officers stormed into the wrong home and forced the woman living there to stand naked in handcuffs for several minutes.

AP
  • Updated

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi House voted Wednesday to ban transgender athletes from competing on girls' or women's sports teams in the state's schools and universities. The bill heads to Republican Gov. Tate Reeves in the next several days, and he is expected to sign it into law.

AP
  • Updated

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — A former scientist at The Jackson Laboratory in Farmington, Connecticut, is being investigated by the FBI for failing to disclose financial affiliations with Chinese research institutions when requesting grant funding from the U.S. government.

AP
  • Updated

FALLS CHURCH. Va. (AP) — A federal judge in Virginia has again rejected an American diplomatic couple's efforts to toss out a lawsuit in the U.S. filed after the woman fatally injured a British teenager in a car crash and then left the country under diplomatic immunity.

AP
  • Updated

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A couple driving home from Florida flipped and wrecked their car while swerving to avoid a couch that fell off a truck. And though both escaped serious injury, there was no avoiding a $166 traffic ticket dropped off at the hospital where they were treated.

AP
  • Updated

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas lawmakers on Wednesday approved legislation banning nearly all abortions, sending the bill to a Republican governor who has expressed reservations about the move.

AP
  • Updated

Las Vegas Sands is selling the iconic Venetian casino resort and its Sands Expo and Convention Center for $6.25 billion, withdrawing from gambling operations on the Las Vegas Strip after changing the nature of the casino business there and just about everywhere else.

AP
  • Updated

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Greg Evans, a Black man who joined a parade of witnesses urging Oregon lawmakers to ban the display of nooses, said the issue was personal for him: A member of his family had been lynched over a century ago in South Carolina.

AP
  • Updated

The television personality known simply as Dr. Oz gave details Wednesday about a tense real-life scene in which he helped police save a man's life at Newark Liberty International Airport as anxious spectators looked on.

AP
  • Updated

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Detectives are looking at data from the “black box” of Tiger Woods' SUV to get a clearer picture of what occurred during the Southern California rollover crash that seriously injured the golf star, authorities said Wednesday.

AP
  • Updated

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A corrections officer is suing a New Mexico county over a requirement that first responders and other employees be vaccinated, setting up another legal fight during a pandemic that is testing local and federal public health laws.

AP
  • Updated

BENTONIA, Miss. (AP) — With callused hands, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes plucks an old acoustic guitar at the juke joint his parents started more than 70 years ago. He checks the cafe’s inventory: jars of pickled eggs, beef jerky, pork hocks. He tends to the wood-burning stove, made from an oil-field…

AP
  • Updated

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Republican and Democratic legislative leaders were finalizing a resolution Wednesday to expel a North Dakota House member accused of threatening and sexually harassing women at the state Capitol.

AP
  • Updated

NEW YORK (AP) — More than one-third of U.S. nonprofits are in jeopardy of closing within two years because of the financial harm inflicted by the viral pandemic, according to a study being released Wednesday by the philanthropy research group Candid and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.

Newsletters