An important reminder that not all disabilities are visible.

An awful message on her windshield

While parked in a children’s hospital parking lot, Emma Doherty rushed into an appointment with her son Bobby. When they returned, she saw something that truly upset her.

There was a note on the windshield that said, “You lazy conning b-tch. You did not have a disabled person with you! These spaces are reserved for people who need them!!!”

Her son is terminally ill

Doherty took to Facebook to set the record straight.

“To the person who put this on my car which I had put my disabled badge fully on show I’m not angry at your pure ignorance I’m actually upset with it. How dare you ever accuse anyone of not needing a disabled badge without knowing,” she wrote in the post. “I wish you had the balls to say this to my face and I would of told you (even tho I don’t need to explain myself to the likes of you) but id of happily said why I have a badge. I promise to get the stigma away from people with disabled badges who don’t ‘look disabled.'”

Doherty explained that her son is a disabled person who is also terminally ill.

“I hope this gets shared and back to you and you will see my son is terminally ill he’s had over 15 operations 3 open hearts, 2 stomach, lung and diaphragm and countless artery stenting operations and spent half his life on intensive care. He’s had 2 strokes and was paralyzed, brain-damaged and has a spine and hip condition as well as a massive heart condition,” she wrote.

Doherty indicated that she’d left Bobby’s wheelchair in the car and carried him because they were late for the appointment due to two previous appointments that same day.

“But for your information not everyone who holds a blue badge needs to have a wheelchair!”

Not all disabilities are visible

Doherty went on to explain that as a single mother with a disabled child, she’s been through so much and doesn’t usually get upset — but this broke her.

“NOT ALL DISABILITIES ARE VISIBLE and I hope you regret doing this and learn your lesson! I knew something would be said one day as every day I get looks and stares and see people whispering to each other about me and bobby walking from the car. Everyone needs to stop and think before acting I hardly ever let anything upset me but this did. How aggressive as well and as for conning my son’s disabled pass is not a con he’s actually seriously ill. I’ve added a picture of him to prove not everyone looks ill or disabled but can be seriously ill.

She also pointed out that she didn’t blame the hospital at all. “They’ve saved my son’s life many times it’s just somebody who was parked on the carpark.”

She’s been supported by her community

The post has been shared more than 31,000 times and is followed by dozens of heartfelt comments.

“So true what you say and you are a fantastic strong mum and don’t deserve this. That person obv has a very sad life to be so obnoxious, so sorry they upset you,” wrote Lucy Marciano-Mills.

“What a lovely way for a relative of a sick child to treat a fellow relative of a sick child. Sorry you had to receive this note Emma. I wish people would be kinder, you never know what other people are battling,” wrote Claire Lewis.

Don’t judge a book by its cover

For Emma and Bobby, the note on the windshield must have been extremely upsetting. But out of their frustration has come something good — the ability to teach that disabilities look very different. If someone has a handicapped sticker, they’re entitled to park in a handicapped spot, end of story.

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