A father from North Canterbury was shocked to find a note about his car in which he criticized his use of a valid handicapped pass after a family outing to the pool.
Paul Francis took his three children – the 9-year-old Jack, who has cerebral palsy, twin sister Poppy and 2-year-old Edie – to the Dudley Park Aquatic Center in Rangiora on Sunday morning.
Francis said the twins had got out of the car and when he took Edie out of the back seat, he saw a woman looking at them.
EMMA DANGER / STUFF
"I always get the twins on the path but they run to the pool – Jack finds it easier to run. If the woman had seen him walk, she might have noticed that he was struggling more."
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Francis and the children returned to the car after their dive to let the children find a note on the windshield with the text: "You may have a mobility card, but the use of this card was not real, shame for you."
EMMA DANGER / STUFF
He placed the note on Facebook and received a lot of positive feedback.
"Jack just went very still when we found the note, it really was his self-confidence and that's why I decided to put it on social media."
This was not an isolated incident. The family has been targeted several times in the past, despite clearly showing the license. Francis said so far that he had tried to let go.
"People will probably say that I just have to tear up the note and move on with my life, and normally I would do that, but if I read & shame about you, I thought, no, I'm going to say it once. "
He has been overwhelmed by the reaction since he placed the image online. Dudley Park had offered them a family pass and had only been great, he said. The number of other people with similar experiences was incredible and he was overwhelmed with messages.
"It has become much bigger than just us, it is only emphasized that so many people go through such things every day."
Jack's mother Tara Francis said she was incredibly proud of how her husband had responded, which was much quieter than she would have. She was furious that the person who left the note had made so many assumptions.
"What really hurts is that it was such a confidence kicker for Jack, he thought the woman did not believe he was disabled, and as a parent you do not want your child to worry about that.
"Only because he does not have a wheelchair does not mean that he has no disability."
Jack suffered from a cerebral hemorrhage when he was only 14 weeks old and had undergone several operations in his nine years, including the first operation for the cerebral hemorrhage, tendon transfer surgery in his arm, and various botox rounds to the nerves in his arm. He will continue to operate as he gets older.
Jack's parents are undergoing a rigorous process to qualify for the license, including the regular completion of forms to prove that he is still disabled and obtaining the required medical certificates. They must also pay for the permit once it has been approved.
"They do not just hand them out with a package of cornflakes," said Tara Francis. & # 39; And we only show it when Jack is in the car with us. & # 39;
Her husband said he was not looking for problems for the writer of the notes, but he wanted to give someone a point in the same position.
"I do not want people to abuse her, that is not the intention, it is only to educate people and create awareness."