A TikToker in a wheelchair was left 'gobsmacked' after a rude comment from a stranger.
Jimmy Jan broke his back in 2021 after a freak accident while skiing.
The 22-year-old from Newcastle, Australia often gets asked questions about being in a wheelchair, with most queries revolving around whether he was ‘born that way’ or ‘what happened’.
In the video Jimmy said: “So I'm just chilling on the couch - while in the wheelchair - when these two old ladies come in and one of them goes ‘Wow, look at you. Isn't that just so comfortable for you?’”
“And I'm like, ‘yeah, I mean, this is a really comfortable couch’. And then she goes, ‘Now let me ask, do you really need a wheelchair?’”
The woman’s question left Jimmy in shock and almost at a loss for words. “Umm excuse me?” he eventually responded.
When Jimmy told her that he did need the wheelchair, the woman asked ‘why?’ he gave the exact reason.
“Because my legs are paralysed and I can’t walk,” he said.
Things didn’t end there. Jimmy claimed the woman snapped a picture of him laying on the couch to show a man she works with who also happens to be in a wheelchair.
The woman then asked for Jimmy’s name so she could tell the man that she ‘bumped into’ him.
“At this point I'm quite gobsmacked - some random lady has just taken a photo of me and does she think all wheelchair users know each other or something? I don't know,” Jimmy said.
“Anyway, I feel sorry for this wheelchair user at her work because I think this lady is quite annoying.
"Lucky for me the elevator doors opened which was the perfect end to this weird conversation.”
Jimmy said the whole conversation ‘threw’ him as he explained how the encounter made him feel.
“I think the reason it really threw me is because I can't imagine being an able bodied person and looking at someone with a disability or a mobility aid and asking if they really needed their wheelchair or walking stick,” he said.
“It's like, what do you expect them to say? ‘Nah I'm just doing this for attention?’”
TikTok users were mostly socked and appalled after hearing about the incident and some people even shared their own similar stories.
“Oh my god it just kept getting worse,” one person shared.
“I used to get asked if I needed my sticks all the time, they assume young means able bodied,” a second TikTok user commented.
Another person quipped: “It’s difficult to pick the most inappropriate part of that entire interaction.”
While one woman recounted: “A young guy once asked me why I had a walking stick. I said ‘ because it’s illegal to carry a baseball bat’. Silence”.
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