A Pennsylvania mom who recently took her terminally ill son to see Santa found herself angry, saddened and in tears when she returned to her vehicle in a disabled parking area and found a nasty note scrawled on her window in lipstick. It read, “UR Not Handicap.”
The story seemed to shock WTXF-TV reporter Chris O’Connell, who prefaced his report this week with a disclaimer for his viewers: “If you have any shred of decency out there, this story is going to make your blood boil.”
And when you learn the details, you’ll understand exactly why O’Connell made such a strongly worded proclamation.
The incident began when Nancy Coyne parked in a disabled area before taking her 7-year-old son Garrett Coyne to see St. Nick at a local mall, an annual tradition the family partakes in. The message she discovered afterward, though, put a damper on an otherwise wonderful experience for a family that is facing the unthinkable.
“I can’t believe someone could be so obnoxious and ignorant and rude about a situation that I struggle with daily,” Coyne told WTXF-TV.
See, Garrett suffers from Batten disease, a neurological disease that has left him blind and losing his motor skills. It’s an illness that generally leads to childhood death, leading to a desperately tragic circumstance for the Coyne family.
“There is no cure. There is no treatment. Trying to make memories for my family then this happened,” Coyne told the outlet. “It just made me really question society to be honest. Like OK, I guess people don’t understand. People don’t care.”
The situation is particularly problematic due to the fact that the family has a disabled parking placard.
It’s unclear why the message was posted, though there is one major take-away: we all need to think deeper about the ramifications of our words and actions. Let’s all lift the Coyne family up in prayer.
Police and mall authorities are investigating, as the Coynes hope that the person responsible learns a lesson about tolerance.