Mother with terminally ill son shamed for parking in handicap spot

- A woman and her terminally ill son found a nasty note on their car window after a trip to see Santa at a local mall.

FOX 29's Chris O'Connell has the story.

Like any 7-year-old, Garrett Coynes' annual visit with Santa Claus at the King of Prussia Mall is what holiday memories are made of.

"The mall is great. The Santa is wonderful. He sits down and really talks to the children," his mom, Nancy Coyne, told FOX 29. 

But this year's visit to St. Nick turned sour. When the Gilberstville family walked to the mall's disabled parking area outside Nordstrom, Nancy was stunned to find a message scribbled in red lipstick on her car window. It read, 'UR Not Handicap'. 

"I can’t believe someone could be so obnoxious and ignorant and rude about a situation that I struggle with daily."

Garrett suffers from rare neurological condition called Batten disease. Once a normal healthy 3-year-old, Garrett is now blind, losing his motor skills to a disease that normally ends in childhood death.

"There is no cure. There is no treatment," Nancy explained. "Trying to make memories for my family then this happened."

Although her car was parked in a disabled spot with a legal parking placard, the family can’t understand and can’t imagine who would do something so offensive. It’s hard enough raising a child with special needs. 

"It just made me really question society to be honest. Like OK, I guess people don’t understand. People don’t care," Nancy said.

The family now says that anger has turned to sadness for the person who obviously needs a lesson on tolerance.

Perhaps they should take a page from Garrett who is inspiring others with the foundation formed in his name, which is helping other families cope with the fatal disease.  

"I just want the person to realize what they did was wrong and to learn from it and not to it again," dad, Joe Coyne, said.

A spokesperson for King of Prussia Mall says they are just as offended this happened. They are helping the Upper Merion police with their investigation. 

 

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