Remember ages ago when my wheelchair tipped backwards after going over them ridiculous speed humps in Verulamium Park (which were finally removed following months of arguing). Everyone was shocked and appalled how a few onlookers walked on by and it took a while for someone to come to my aid. Anyway, that wasn’t a one off. It turns out that most of the general public will not offer to help someone who is in distress and those selfless people who do come forward are in the minority. ‘Wheelchair Boy’ found this out last month when I found myself in a rather uncompromising situation.
Whenever I visit the Alban Arena, I normally end up writing a post about parking but it was different this time as my brother and I were being dropped off. However, it didn’t go according to plan because when I stood up to transfer, both my legs buckled from beneath me (happens quite a lot with Friedreich’s Ataxia). That’s not a problem usually as I’m strong enough to recover and pull my body up using the car door. I felt weak this time so once I had gone, I thought there was no point in fighting the inevitable and gently let myself down to the floor.
I told my brother and sister not to panic. I’m sure a couple of strong men would be able to help…eventually. The amount of passers by who just ignored the situation was unreal. It wasn’t as if people couldn’t see what happened; we were right between a busy pub (Waterend Barn) and the theatre so lots of people were around. I even made eye contact with some but they just looked away and left the disabled person sitting in the road. I don’t know if they thought I was messing around or were simply not very nice.
After a while, two men came to the rescue. One person who was also going to see the show (stand-up from Jon Richardson) and a homeless beggar. An unlikely combination but I’m immensely grateful for their assistance. Puts the rest of the onlookers to shame. I naively thought St. Albans was a pleasant area because, as the name suggests, it’s a city with strong religious foundations but clearly not. My fellow Albanians obviously hadn’t heard of the Good Samaritan parable.
Bye for now!