Woman Leaves Car In Handicap Space, Comes Back To This Note On Her Windshield

Bad End

Facebook/ Yasmin Swift

Yasmin wobbled across the carpark. Her local pub was a few minutes walk away, but a night of dancing left her feet raw. She wasn’t used to the heels. Her friend swayed a few steps behind her, laughing at her own inability to walk in a straight line. Yasmin didn’t mind being the designated driver. Not too long ago her friends had been there for her when she needed them, so a night of sobriety was the least she could do. She placed her bag on the hood of her car to search for her keys. Then she saw the paper on her windshield.

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Unwell

Facebook/Yasmin Swift

Yasmin thought herself to be a healthy, 19-year-old, young woman. She had just finished Homewood School and started a new job. Everything seemed to be going fine until she suddenly felt unwell. “The main thing that I noticed was my legs swelling up, my stomach, my back, and my eyes also became really puffy and sore,” she explained. But she put it down to cramps and allergies. Little did she know, it was much more.

Illness

Facebook/Yasmin Swift

Yasmin took painkillers and antihistamines to help with the pain, but the same symptoms became persistent. When she was forced to leave work in agony, she knew something was wrong. Her mother encouraged her to go to her local doctor. After a quick visit, she was diagnosed with exhaustion and was told to take time off work. But the doctor was wrong.

Symptoms

Facebook/Yasmin Swift

Yasmin listened to the doctor's orders and took some time off work to rest. But her symptoms continued to develop. “I was literally walking the distance of a room before I had to stop walking. My exercise routine went from healthy to non-existent. Where I used to go to the gym five times a week, my health was just getting worse and worse.” Something was up.

Mother's Intuition

Facebook/Yasmin Swift

Yasmin stopped exercising but kept losing weight. She was pale. She could hardly eat. She was miserable. Her mother watched her deteriorate daily. She struggled to see her daughter in such bad health, yet she was unable to help. “My symptoms developed gradually, but in the last few months leading up to my diagnosis, it was just getting worse and worse. My mum said she was scared she would lose me.” Then, Yasmin’s health took a dangerous turn.

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Emergency

Facebook/Yasmin Swift

The doctors and nurses at Tenterden knew Yasmin, her family, and even her friends by name. She had been rushed to A&E so many times in the middle of the night, but no one could help. She had countless tests. Her mother had an unimaginable amount of disagreements with doctors. She pushed for every test they could do and the majority came back fine. Then, something showed up.

Diagnosis

Facebool/Yasmin Swift

After months of doctor visits and whispers of the world “hypochondriac,” Yasmin was finally diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension. Her mother was delighted the doctors had finally found the behind her daughter’s illness, but they had never heard of the disorder before then. What did that mean for Yasmin? Was there a cure? Could she live a normal life?

Reality

Facebook/Yasmin Swift

Although relieved with a diagnosis, Yasmin had to do her research. Idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension causes seemingly simple tasks to be exhausting. She would have to get used to shortness of breath in her day-to-day life. Yasmin took six months off work to come to terms with her diagnosis. During that time, her body had to adjust to the medication. But there was a worrying fact to Yasmin’s lung disorder.

Facts

Facebook/Yasmin Swift

Yasmin’s disorder has a life expectancy of up to 17 years. Already 19, she has passed all doctor’s expectations. “The diagnosis was a relief at first but now it’s just difficult to live with. Now I’m on medication it's more manageable, I’ve actually had a pump fitted now which I have to take my medication though, it’s permanently attached to me.” Yasmin is trying to live a regular teenage life, but it’s proved harder than expected.

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Notes

Facebook/Yasmin Swift

Yasmin was shocked and hurt by the stranger’s brazen note. Although her blue badge was on full display to allow her to park in a disabled spot, the ignorant passer-by was quick to judge her physical appearance. Yasmin had been through too much in the last few years for a complete stranger to try to shame her.

Online

Facebook/Yasmin Swift

Yasmin was furious. How dare they try to make her feel like that. She had been through too much for too long to let them get away with this. She went straight to her computer and began to type. “Whoever wrote this couldn’t write their name, couldn’t write their number and didn’t want to approach me in person.” But she didn’t end there.

Status

Facebook/Yasmin Swift

“I saw the note you left on my car and this is what I want to say back… Last night I went to the White Lion in Tenterden with my friend and parked my car outside Prezzo in the disabled space and, honestly, I didn’t think anything of it. I was angry and frustrated.” Yasmin was used to the judging stares of strangers. Yasmin was only received one note. Unfortunately, she was used to the disapproving looks.

Judgement

Facebook/Yasmin Swift

“You can tell people are staring when you get out of the car and stuff like that, but nobody had actually said anything before, let alone left a note. When I put my badge up I feel like I have to walk out of the car limping.” Yasmin shared her past experiences online, hoping to bring some awareness to her disorder. And the internet listened.

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Awareness

Facebook/Yasmin Swift

“I shouldn’t have to feel like that because there is an illness there, but it just doesn’t show.” Yasmin hoped her story would change the outdated ideas of what a disability is. For some, it is physical. But for much more, the effects are not physical. “Just because I’m not in a wheelchair or have a visible ailment, it doesn’t mean I’m not entitled to use a disabled space.”

Strength

Facebook/Yasmin Swift

Since finding the note, Yasmin has found not only strength but also her voice. “It’s not all bad though because after posting about the note on social media, the reaction from people on Facebook has been amazing.” Yasmin hopes her story will raise awareness to those suffering with similar symptoms. And although the author was too afraid to leave a name or number, Yasmin has shown her own courage by sharing her story with the world.

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