What began as a lovely day at a local theme park quickly became a nightmare for the mother of a disabled child.
Sophie Figg, her sister Louise and their friend organized a group trip to the Gulliver's Land amusement park with their children, including her son Harrison. But before they could even get into the park they were confronted by an employee.
Figg had bought a ticket for herself and a child's ticket for Harrison, but the employee asked her to stand Harrison beside a height board to make sure he was under 3 feet tall and qualified for his discounted ticket. This came as a shock to Figg, since 3-year-old Harrison is a wheelchair-user and can't stand up.
Harrison was born with septo-optic dysplasia, a condition that leaves him with a partially formed brain. Harrison is blind, depends on a feeding tube, and uses a wheelchair to get around. But Figg says park employees asked her to "prove" that her son is disabled.
"I know not all people with disabilities are in a wheelchair but it's common sense to see that if someone is in one, then they are disabled," she explained. But Figg says a manager at the park "laughed and walked off" after accusing Harrison of being over the height limit.
After being kept at the gate for almost an hour, Figg was finally told to "pay for him now and you can measure him later" if she wanted a refund.
In the end Figg was forced to hold Harrison beside the board to prove he was under the height limit. Instead of apologizing, the park actually blames Figg for the way her son was treated.
Find out why they blame her on the next page!
Figg asked for a refund after being treated rudely by park staff, but the situation was never about money for her.
"I feel appalled," she told the Mirror. "Harrison had just as much right to be there than anyone else. They treated him like he was a shell, not a person." While the group was eventually let into the park, the way Harrison was treated ruined the whole day for Figg.
Now, she's asking Gulliver's Land to change their rules for dealing with disabled guests, so no parent will have to face this kind of humiliation again. But a spokesman for the park actually says Figg was the one being "abusive" to employees.
Gulliver's Land insists the park's employees would never make a wheelchair-user stand up beside a height board, but Figg says another guest saw the whole thing and also complained to the head office, so somebody isn't being truthful.
In the end, the park's head office offered a full refund to Figg's group, but she says this was "about how badly the whole situation was dealt with," not just dollars and cents.
Was Gulliver's Land wrong to treat Harrison and his mom this way? Share this story and tell us what you think!
[H/T: The Mirror]