But my point is what does this young man hope to achieve and where does it end? As an aside my sister did do a letter of complaint to the Trust and to the CQC. The Trust apologised but it was the CQC who actually tried to improve matters . Nothing to be achieved by suing them except perhaps to deprive others of a service by cost cuts to fund a compensation culture. Whoever mentioned the US perhaps needs to check out how that’s worked out for them there. Every profession insured to the hilt and disclaimers on everything , everywhere. In this particular instance it’s an airline or their staff so no “governing body” like the CQC. But if he felt he’d been poorly treated perhaps he should seek an apology or compensation for the loss of his wheelchair and let that be the end of it . The groundstaff were by the sound of things trying to do the best they could with what they had available and I think he has sensationalised the situation . My husband and I used to transport very severely disabled students to college . We had to undertake a very comprehensive, intensive 2 day course in manual handling and many other aspects including challenging behaviour & many other different disabilities. There were also stringent rules on how the young people could be transported . The rules required the wheelchair user to be strapped in. And for the wheelchair to be securely fastened down in the vehicle . There simply wasn’t the scope to provide specialist forms of transport such as this young man seems to expect all to provide . I agree there are areas that need to change to promote better accessibility but to expect the airport to provide the type of wheelchair he used & in the manner he was used to using one is surely going too far. I need medication to help me stay alive . Would you suggest everywhere has a supply of it in case I lose my bag or forget to bring it with me? I don’t see what he hopes to achieve. If you go to any hospital or clinic - and I went to many with my parents when they were alive - the wheelchairs are VERY basic. Would he suggest THEY change all their wheelchairs or sue them if they don’t - perhaps not. He may , by using the airport’s wheelchair have had to put up with a few minutes discomfort. Perhaps that’s undignified but threatening to sue is not the way to go about rectifying his problem. As for his being an “angry young man” perhaps but have others have said - this happened in 2017, why has he only now decided to sue - a long time to remain angry - surely worse for his health than a few minutes of discomfort whilst being wheeled to a taxi.
I reckon, without analysing ths wheelchair situation much further, that this fellow was tired, uncomfortable and dehydrated, possibly with a distended bladder. He momentarily lost his temper, and - like many of us men - refused to back down from his ill-judged decision to refuse help, even while his intuition told him he was barking up the wrong tree. He feels a deep anger about his paralysis, and it will not let him go, or he it. He’s in thrall to it, and it’s not susceptible to reason. If only!
It’s a very human situation, and in my opinion very understandable. It would take a lot of skill for airport staff to defuse his anger, and steer him towards a rational compromise. Airports are highly abnormal environments where anxiety levels soar. Staff inhale the adrenaline and testosterone 24/7. There isn’t much scope for empathy: everything is acted out in public, like the Coliseum in Roman times, where a thumbs-down meant ritual slaughter, and a release of emotional tension through the shedding of much blood.
Neither the disabled man nor the airport staff were much at fault. Both - and perhaps all of us - need to consider our roles in getting our selves into this state of affairs, and what in the long run is to be done to change it?
Peter, at last one with a sensible insight to life-situations, thank you.
Peter, I recognise a humane and thoughtful companion-on-the-way in you (amongst many others in this community) so thank you!
Yes, Peter… it is all very understandable… except the suing bit, nearly a year later…
Perhaps, Stella, but anger is like an all-consuming fire, it spreads to consume all that is dry and arid, and much else if not quenched or contained. It has a life of its own. As the old saying goes, “love shall tread out the baleful fires of anger, and in their ashes plant the tree of peace…”
Love does not condemn our weakness or human frailty. This man hurts no-one, except perhaps himself, by bringing legal suit against the airport or the carrier.
Exactly, a quarter of an hour of frustration and anger is one thing. This is something completely different.
It is indeed different. And if we were in his shoes, to use a wholly inappropriate analogy, we might be in a better position to judge his anger, its duration, and its manner of expressing itself.
There are, I would suggest, few amongst us who do not harbour a life-long sense of injustice, or an old resentment, that surfaces periodically in a number of ways, defies rationalising away, and is obvious to others as we are ourselves blind to it, or defensive if it is challenged.
I count myself at the head of the list of angry men, and I acknowledge too that many men have come to terms with their burden, often with the empathic and adult support of the women, or a woman, in their lives.
He’s a young man who suffered a catastrophic injury just before he was 21…my son was off to Ibiza for his 21st birthday with his mates…if this had happened to my son 2 days before his 21st then as his mom there are probably no lengths I wouldn’t have gone to to help him overcome what must have seemed like hell on Earth…
He’s done really well…has overcome some major obstacles…become an athlete and sees his self as an activist…it’s something he’s passionate about…
If I’d have been a passenger at the airport and seen him struggling I’d also have probably asked if I could help but I’d have understood if he didn’t want my help…
None of it would have happened if his own wheelchair hadn’t been left behind…I understand his anger over that…
My heart goes out to you Vero…I’d never heard of picks disease…I have an auntie who was diagnosed with dementia about 9 years ago and is only recently at a stage where her family need some help with her care…she’s still at home…compared to my partner’s mom who has suffered a rapid decline after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s during the last year…She has had the “crash team” twice in hospital and “been bought back to life”…and from the hospital went to a care home and hasn’t been home since even though the family are quite prepared to look after her at home…
For those who might need a shot of empathy: I got just the training for you!
Its free, only takes a few minutes and you can do it at home!
- When you feel the urge to go to the bathroom, sit down on the floor away from the bathroom and wait a while .
- Without using your legs (you cannot use them, remember?) get to the bathroom.
- Open the door and get yourself on the toilet seat, remember to remove cloths you need to.
- Do your business, flush, wash your hands.
- get back to from where you started.
- That’s it!
Nellie, you don’ t need to worry that happening to you, as your situation is quite different and you will be doing this ( I hope) a few times, where as he is in for the long term.
You can lecture me about empathy the next time you get to go for one wee in twelve and a half hours
Where I go to the coast the lifeguards have a couple of beach wheelchairs to allow wheelchair users to to travel over the sand and even to go into the sea. I would hate to have to believe that they were likely to be sued for not having exactly the right equipment to suit everybody’s exact needs.
Nobody needs patronising lessons on empathy, I’m sure that the more able bodied among us can all appreciate how lucky we are when compared to others with severe physical difficulties but that does not alter the facts. In this case due to unfortunate circumstances a proud young man refused the most suitable assistance available and decided to protest in a way sure to gain maximum attention and much later he decided to sue. I think he is totally out of order and as I said before I don’t have a lot of sympathy.
I think it’s always important to consider alternative perspectives on inscrutable situations, David, which is why I ‘liked’ your own comment, because it does help me to ‘scrute’ my own
It’s entirely possible that the truth of the matter includes elements drawn from everyone who offered opinions on the matter. And we would all probably agree that it’s a pity the situation arose in the first place. But even on that, dissent is eminently reasonable. I think
There is a world of difference in what Julien had to ‘go through’ in this particular instance over a year ago and the plight of people who have no other choice available!
I just tried that Peter…my bathroom is two rooms away from the kitchen where I’m currently sitting …2 steps to go down…and one step to go up to get into the bathroom…on my backside not using my legs at all…purely relying on the strength in my hands and arms…my right hand has an historic dislocation of one finger so it’s not possible for me to use my right hand to propel me…my left hand is not my dominant hand so I found myself really struggling…
Thankyou…Quite a sobering excercise actually…I’m able bodied bar one finger on my right hand…
I don’t think Peter is lecturing you Nellie…we are many billions with billions of different perspectives and I also empathise with your perspective working in the NHS…it’s abhorrent that whilst caring for our loved ones that you barely have time for a rest break…x
Helen, you are right. I tried to make it more visual : forget about the vast amounts he will be making and focus on the human side.
Many of us have been to hell and back, or on our way there, so naturally we compare our own experiences with what we read, forgetting that an article only gives so much info, not the whole story. Others don’t know what we have in our baggage, that is for another topic?
BUT, partly back to the original question, or another look at it: public (we), what things are we allowed to sue? We have a law and layers dealing with that, my take is to be neutral until verdict, Surely there will be rightful and wrongful decisions, as with everything else. But to hang someone to dry,… meeh.
I was not able to lift myself up to the toilet seat, nor was I able to wash my hands.
The fact that we are even discussing this shows that whatever happens in the court case the guy has succeeded in raising awareness of the difficulties faced by the disabled when travelling. I think he will lose but don’t believe for one minute that his sole intention was to screw every penny out of Luton Airport that he could.
I also think that all the posters in the thread are empathetic but some comments are perhaps a reflection of the view that he could of (just this once) accepted assistance rather than insist on complete independence.
Cannot see why Luton Airport should be sued, they did not lose his wheel chair, it was the ground agents at his departure airport, who did not load it after he boarded.