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Woman left 'shaken' after stranger confronted her demanding to know why she had blue badge

Woman left 'shaken' after stranger confronted her demanding to know why she had blue badge

She said the experience left her feeling 'anxious' about parking

A woman with multiple sclerosis (MS) was left ‘shaken’ after being confronted by a total stranger in a supermarket car park, demanding to know why she had a blue badge.

Hannah Campbell, 22, was diagnosed with the incurable lifelong condition five years ago, having suspected something was wrong when she woke up one day with double vision, also experiencing headaches and fatigue.

The disease, which can impact the brain and spinal cord, often leads to serious disability – although sometimes it can be mild.

While it is possible to treat symptoms – including problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance – there is no cure for MS.

Campbell, from Derby, is hoping to raise awareness of the illness and how it is not always obvious that someone has the condition, following a shocking incident she recently went through.

She explained how she had been approached in a Morrisons car park by a stranger, who suggested she was not entitled to the blue badge she displayed in her car.

Hannah Campbell, 22, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis five years ago.
BPM Media

Campbell, who was just 17 when she was diagnosed, recalled: "I had just put the trolley back after shopping and made my way back to my car when the man stopped me and told me that someone had been taking pictures of blue badges in cars and then made out he was warning me to be careful and implied I had stolen it and he didn't want me to get caught.

"I was completely taken by surprise that he should say that and I did my best to ignore him and get into my car as soon as I could. But I felt really shaken and realised how much he had rushed to judgement about my condition.

"The thing is, I have good days, and bad days when the pain is so bad I can't hardly get about and need crutches, and another day when it eases but still isn't right and I am determined not to use crutches.

"I struggle with a lot of pain, weakness and fatigue and recently I have been having to use crutches to help my walking. I also struggle with my mental health, and this incident has affected me with this as well.

"I would like to raise awareness of sometimes invisible, sometimes visible disabilities that people can have and no one would know. Not all disabilities are visible and just because we’re young, it doesn’t mean we’re fine and doesn’t mean we can’t possibly be disabled."

She added that the experience has made her feel ‘anxious’ about parking, having even parked further away to ‘avoid any hassle’ on a couple of occasions.

Campbell said the experience at the supermarket car park left her 'shaken'.
BPM Media

Campbell’s life has been completely affected by her diagnosis, having been in and out of college since she found out she had MS.

It took six months for experts to work out what was wrong after she awoke with double vision and developed headaches and fatigue, eventually discovering the lesions that form in the brain thanks to the condition.

While the condition is not hereditary, people who are related to someone with MS are more likely to develop it, with Campbell’s father also a sufferer.

Campbell thinks she is now in the right mental state to train in animal care, and is also determined to raise more awareness about MS, having taken part in publicity during the national MS Awareness Week.

She said: "You can go for a while without severe symptoms and then it can come back again. I have had a couple of lapses and my legs are definitely weaker. Every day can be different and it has affected my mental health. In fact, I had been coming out of a very long and dark tunnel mentally when the old man approached me in the Morrisons car park.

"But I tried not to let it affect me. He was showing his prejudice. Just because you can't see someone's disability, it doesn't mean it's not there.

“I don't want to have to have a blue badge or park in disabled spaces but I need to. Nobody wants to be disabled."

Mum Jackie added: "In many ways, it is an invisible illness at times. But she is doing her best to build herself up to face the future so we could have done without the cruel remarks. We do have a wheelchair if Hannah needs it but I know she is determined not to use it unless she has to."

Featured Image Credit: BPM Media

Topics: News, UK News, Health