Cruel note hits hard for disability permit holder
IT'S been a long 12 months for Gordon Sinclair who has had to come to terms with living with lupus and fibromyalgia - a disease that causes full body chronic pain.
Having already suffered from arthritis in both knees, feet and ankles, as well as his S1, S2, L4 and L5 discus protruding into his spinal cord, Mr Sinclair was entitled to a disability permit for his car.
But just last week Mr Sinclair and his wife, Michelle were cruelly targeted with a nasty note criticising his parking in a disabled spot while at the doctors.
"We'd gone to the doctors, parked in disabled gone from there, ducked into the X-ray but their parking lot was completely full," Mr Sinclair's wife Michelle said.
"From there we went into Woolworths, and we didn't park in disabled there, and then we came home."
It wasn't until they were almost home that the spotted the small note tightly tucked into the rubber of their windscreen.
"You took a disabled parking spot. You're not displaying a permit. Somebody with a real disability needed that spot!" the note said.
Mrs Sinclair - who also suffers from a number of non-visible disabilities - said it's disheartening not being able to use the carparks they are entitled to because people can't visibly see the problem.
"His lungs are actually sitting at an 81-year-olds, so the walking as well with the lupus, the fibro, the back, and the arthritis, everything is tough," Mrs Sinclair said.
"They snarl at you and there are mumbled words.
"You do get the looks and when I go down into the carpark, and there's a little old lady or an old man that's there, we don't park there - I just don't feel like being confronted."
The note that was placed on their windscreen was enough to send Mrs Sinclair over the edge, taking to social media to share her frustration.
"If they waited they would see he can't walk properly. It just makes me mad," Mrs Sinclair said.
The post was met with sympathy and support by the community, and she received comments from other people who were similarly targeted by strangers.
"There was a gentleman that posted that he's only in his 30s and he's got a prosthetic leg, and he parked in the disabled park," she said.
"He actually saw people gathering around looking at him and making comments, and it didn't stop until he got out of the car and they spotted his leg and they all just turned around and walked off."
It's an issue so distressing to the couple, who now avoid some disabled car spaces despite having the documentation to do so.
Despite the issue, Mr and Mrs Sinclair hope that sharing their difficulty and those of others, will show that it's not right to judge others on appearance.
"I think it's the mentality that it's only the elderly that need them now because they're getting older, which is fair enough but some of us young ones have serious conditions," she said.
"It's all changed now, no one's got that compassion and respect now, but I hope this will make people judge less on appearance."