A Wigan mum hopes to change attitudes towards disabilities after she was attacked in an abusive note for using a disabled parking space.
Emma Doherty, from Worsley Mesnes, found the note on her car after an appointment at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool with her three-year-old son Bobby Baldwin last Tuesday.
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She has a blue badge as Bobby has a serious heart condition and other health issues.
Bobby does have a wheelchair, but Emma did not get it out of the car as they were running late.
But the note, which contained an expletive, accused her of using the disabled parking space while she was not with a disabled person.
Emma, 31, was so upset about the note that she posted about it on Facebook.
Her post went viral, being shared more than 19,000 times in the first two days and even being seen by someone in Canada.
Within 24 hours of the post, Emma had received more than 110 messages of support from strangers, many of whom had also faced abuse for parking in disabled spaces.
They included people who had been spat at and had abuse hurled at them.
Emma said: “I really didn’t think it would go that far. It’s obviously gone a lot further than I thought it would, but I think it proves it happens a lot more than it should, because it shouldn’t happen at all.
“The messages I have had, I can’t explain how bad they are. I have definitely got off lightly.”
Emma said she had wondered whether she had over-reacted to the note, but was glad she had decided to highlight what had happened and hopes it does not happen to anyone else.
She hopes it will make people realise that not all disabilities are visible and she believes no-one should ever question why someone had been given a blue badge.
Emma said: “People are going through so much anyway and I think people should stop judging before they know anything. You can’t look at somebody and judge - just because they look healthy it doesn’t mean they are.”
Emma said the incident will not stop her parking in disabled spaces in future.
“If anything, I will probably use the blue badge more now,” she said.