Fake $1 million parking fine an insult to family
Dear Editor, On April 8, I was parked at the Walmart in a disabled stall with my disabled placard.
About 15 minutes later, my two daughters and I returned to my car to find this “fine” written on a napkin. “1 million dollar fine! You don’t look handicapped (physically anyway) – Don’t be so lazy and teach your kids respect.”
As this person is a passive aggressive communicator, they could have challenged their ignorance by questioning my need for this space. These disabled placards cannot be easily purchased at a Walmart.
They require a medical professional to provide supporting documentation to qualify for one. I am a very private person and rarely feel the need to share/explain my heartache.
No I am not “handicapped” but my 11-year-old daughter has been presented with life-long challenges that were diagnosed in the emergency room by a neurosurgeon at the ACH in February 2005.
The CAT scan revealed a massive tumour deep in the left side of her brain. Days later, she had the 10-hour brain surgery. Her brain was permanently injured in order to remove the tumour.
Her entire right side of her body was affected as well as a permanent visual impairment to her eye. She also had to wear a leg brace as well as a hand splint. The next two years our family was dedicated to the intense physical, speech and OT therapy she required.
Then in May 2007, one of her many MRIs revealed the tumour had returned. Days later, the second brain surgery was completed. The injury to her brain left her with no speech, no function to the right side of her body and an increased visual impairment.
The therapies at the ACH were daily for almost a year. She attended school at ACH. She will always need to wear a leg brace (not visible with long pants). Her cognitive/expressive language functioning was effected and a latent brain injury occurred as the brain healed.
It has been five years post-surgery. Kids will ask her how she can do things with only one hand. People stare at her leg brace and her gait. We never leave the house without planning how long will she last walking, will her brace cause breakdown, is she too fatigued to even go, where is the most accessible parking, etc.
My husband and I carried her for as long as we were able to when she could no longer walk or if was not safe. Being able to park closer means our daughter is safer without fear that a car may not stop for her or back up into her or her slipping/tripping.
My explanations to her as to the callousness of the “fine “was that she has come such a long way with all of her hard work that he only saw me. As I pulled the car into the garage, I watched my brave, proud, independent daughter walk up the steps, – fall, pick herself and her self esteem up (as she has done so many times) and proceed into the house as if nothing had ever happened.
I uncontrollably wept and took a step backwards in my emotional recovery.
Katherine Allard, Airdrie