Burning to Help
Date Added: Sept. 10, 2005
There is quite possibly only one thing more compelling than the story of an infant in serious trouble, and that is the picture of an infant in serious trouble. This photo is real, and does depict a badly burned Polish baby, but what the letter promises is impossible and turns this call for hope into a particularly insidious hoax.
Alexandra came out of a rigging fire alive, but now has to fight for her life and a normal future.
She is 14 months old and she has burnt skin all over her body, damage facial bones (as a result of very high temperature). She does not have half of her face. She is in hospital in Cracow - Poland and one of the best specialist is looking after her. However she still has to go through many surgeries and then long rehab. Unfortunately her parents do not have any more money. Therefore we are asking for your help.
For each forwarded email her parents will get 3 cents. Please help them
Verifying this photo and story was hindered by my absolute lack of knowledge of the Polish Language, but using several online translation services, I have determined that the photograph is legitmate and does depict a polish girl, named Ola Kuczma, badly burned in a fire in the Summer of 2005. Her condition is, indeed, grave. She is burned over most of her body, lost an ear and has suffered some brain damage.
That is where this chain letter falls apart. What the letter suggests - that the child's parents will receive a set donation for each person who forwards this chain - is technologically impossible, at least as described. This is a text message with a photo attached. There is no special coding to allow it to be tracked, nor are you asked to notify anybody when you send it, so how will this anonymous benefactor know if you've forwarded?
And, while we're talking about the benefactor, what kind of sadistic whacko would offer to help the family of a critically injured baby only if complete strangers forward an e-mail message? Similarly, what kind of sicko would take a true story of a child in peril and turn it into a joke? This is an old hoax that preys on most people's emotions and limited understanding of technology. Compare this one to similar chains about Rachel Arlington and Amy Bruce.
Ola remains in a critical condition as of this writing. Her family have appeared on Polish radio and television programs and a fund has been set up for area residents to help with her medical costs. See the Atrapa.net link in the references below for valid bank information to help them out. Break this chain.
References: TVP.pl (Polish), Super Express (Poland), Atrapa.net (English)