Express & Star

'Rot in Hell' note left to disabled driver

A PhD student from Penkridge who struggles to walk due to a condition which causes her joints to dislocate up to 40 times a day was left shocked when she discovered a callous note on her car branding her a 'vile' woman.


Theresa Summerfield, 27, who has had Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) since birth, had parked her car in a disabled bay at the University of Wolverhampton, before returning to find the note.

The student's symptoms became more painful after she had a mini stroke at 20 which left her relying heavily on crutches and even a wheelchair - although she attempts to use the aids less to avoid comments from strangers.

The writer brands Theresa 'vile' and says they hope she 'rots in hell'

"How dare you park in a disability space when you are a healthy young woman.

Theresa Summerfield's disabled parking badge

"You should be disgusted in yourself. One day I hope you know what it is like to be disabled, then you will know.

"Parking in a disability space is not fair and you are a vile woman abusing parking for the infirm.

"I hope you rot in hell!"

Theresa, who also suffers Crohn's disease, said: "I was initially really angry when I saw the note and then I felt really sorry for the person.

"Trying so hard to not appear disabled due to hurtful comments and try to live a normal life is hard, I was really hurt by it."

The Crohn's leaves Theresa battling stomach cramps and pains, while the EDS means she sometimes dislocates her shoulder while combing her hair, can dislocate a rib by coughing and can dislocate her hips, knees and ankles by walking too much.

Theresa posted a picture of the note online following the incident last month and explained that people shouldn't judge based on the appearance of others.

She wrote: "I use disabled parking bays with my blue badge because I need to.

"I may be able to walk into my office, or a shop, but I never know what's going to dislocate next.

"I don't know if it will take me an hour to walk a few hundred yards to my car because, yet again, something's popped out.

"Next time you want to call someone 'vile' I suggest you take a good long look in a mirror, where you will surely see a vile person.

"I am not particularly angry with you. I pity you for your obvious ignorance and intolerance of others.

"I sincerely hope you never become disabled, because, unlike you, I wouldn't wish this on anybody.

"Now I'm going back to my life. A life filled with love and support but also dedication, passion, and ambition.

"You will always be ignorant, but I will be a success."

This isn't the first time that Theresa has been subjected to cruel taunts by strangers.

When out on her crutches she has been accused of using them for show, to avoid working and to claim benefits.

Theresa said: "You can't judge just by looking at people – it's so hard being younger as well because people claim I'm on crutches as an excuse not to work.

"I have always worked, people just assume."

Theresa's husband was angry when he learnt about that note.

He said: "I was just completely shocked, if they could spend just a minute in her body they would be rushing to A&E in pain needing painkillers that don't work. It makes me sick."

When Theresa completes her fully-funded PhD she hopes to pursue a career as a lecturer in cyber psychology – which explores how people behave online.

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