A WOMAN who suffers from a condition which causes severe pain all over her body found a note saying ‘being fat and ugly doesn’t count as disabled – park elsewhere’ when she left her car in a disabled space.
By PETER HENN: MERCURY PRESS & MEDIA LTD
Sarah Metcalfe was left an abusive note
I think they must have seen me leaving my car with a smile on my face so assumed I wasn’t disabled or in pain.
Ms Metcalfe started to develop fibromyalgia after getting a head injury in a fall in 2010.
As a result of her condition, she has muscle stiffness, tingling all over her arms and legs, chronic pain, dizziness and clumsiness.
However, she only recently applied for a Blue Badge because of being caught up in her studies, and has not received it yet.
She said: “I don’t like to claim benefits, I like to just try and get on with it, but the pain was so bad on this occasion that I was forced to used a disabled bay to limit the walk.
“There were around 40 disabled parking bays and most were free. “I wouldn’t have been able to go in if I hadn’t used it – my ankles had become so weak that I was worried I’d go over on them. But I was enjoying a day out with my son so was determined to make it in.
“It was Jack who had to find the note. It floored him – he couldn’t believe someone could say that but use a piece of paper to say it so there can be no comeback, it’s just horrible.”
MERCURY PRESS & MEDIA LTD
Sarah Metcalfe was left this note
Ms Metcalfe believes that the incident highlights a more widespread problem in society, in which people believe being disabled means being in a wheelchair.
Sarah said: “Not every disability is visible. Just because I’m not in a wheelchair doesn’t mean I’m not disabled. “I think the person who did this should come forward. I just want to talk to them about what it’s like to live with a disability like this.
“I think they should have thought about the impact that writing this could have had on the wrong person.
“I consider myself quite a strong person, but this could have gone on someone’s car who couldn’t handle such nasty personal abuse.
“Whoever did it, didn’t think about the terrible effect it could have had on someone.
“I know it will be very hard for the person who did it to have the courage to come forward, but if you are reading this and know it was you, please do.”
A Tesco spokesman said: “We were shocked to hear about this incident and try hard to tackle discrimination.
“We ask that customers display a blue badge if they are parking in a disabled bay to prevent abuse of these essential spaces, but appreciate our Clifton Moor customer’s concerns and would welcome her to talk to our colleagues in store. “We will also report this incident to the car park owners.”