A Sydney mum with cystic fibrosis was shocked to find an abusive note calling an “inconsiderate b*tch” for parking in a disabled spot.
Toni Parkin, who is in need of a double lung transplant, and was stopped outside of Nepean Village shopping centre in Penrith, in Sydney’s west, when she found the note on her windscreen at the weekend.
Her car has a visible disabled parking permit on it and had only been there for half an hour while waiting to pick up her nine-year-old daughter from a birthday party.
“It was just a complete smack in the face,” Toni, 33, says.
“Cystic fibrosis is a degenerative illness so the older you get the harder it gets to do things because everything starts to shut down.
“Applying for the parking permit last year was another nail in the coffin of one more thing I couldn’t do,” she explains.
“Five years ago I could do this without problems, and now I can’t – now I’m struggling to walk 500 metres.”
The self-employed processor was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis as a six-week-old baby and her parents were told she would not live to see her tenth birthday.
“When I got back to the car and saw the note, the first thing I thought was that someone had hit my car,” she says.
“So when I read it, it was just a complete shock. The person who wrote it obviously saw me get out of the car because they knew I was female to write ‘b*tch’.
“But they didn’t come up or actually say something or question it. To look at me you would have absolutely no idea there was anything wrong.
“It is horrible and so frustrating. Do they want me to be wearing an oxygen mask? Because eventually before my transplant I will be at that stage.”
Toni is undergoing assessments to be put on the transplant list as she has been told by doctors she will need a double lung transplant in future.
Her lungs currently work at between 30 and 35 per cent of the capacity of a healthy adult, but in future she will need to rely on an oxygen mask as her health continues to deteriorate.
Due to frequent chest infections, she is hospitalised an average of twice a year for up to two weeks at a time and she suffers from shortness of breath and coughing fits.
Toni only applied for a disabled parking permit last year from the New South Wales Government’s Roads and Maritime Department after her hospital visits became more frequent.
The note, which appears to have been hastily scrawled on the back of a receipt, reads: “You inconsiderate bi*ch how dare you park in disabled parking one day you may need this spot”.
In an emotional Facebook post, Toni said: “To the ignorant idiot who wrote this, if only you knew my story.
“I guess you could not take the two seconds to note my disabled parking permit.
“I really hope you learn that disabilities come in all shapes and sizes, hopefully you will not know what it is like to need one of these.”
A spokesman for the New South Wales Government Roads and Maritime Services Department said: “Holders of a valid disabled parking permit are able to park in a disabled parking space in NSW.
“Authorities such as NSW Police and council parking rangers enforce this.”
- with additional reporting by Caters News