A mother in England was outraged after her 3-year-old son was prohibited from bringing his wheelchair inside of a store.
Shelly Wall said she and her son, Noah, were enjoying a day out when the incident occurred. Noah, who was born with spina bifida, is paralyzed and uses a wheelchair.
“Before we went back home, we thought it would be great to take Noah to Hamleys and he played in the ball pool. They gave him a necklace and were just so sweet,” Wall said, according to the Daily Mirror. “We thought the Disney cafe and Mickey Mouse at Harrods would be such a treat for Noah. I cannot believe the security guard.”
When Wall and her son attempted to enter the department store Harrods, they were immediately denied entry by a security guard.
“I was pushing Noah in his buggy because of the crowds, and wanted to put him in the wheelchair inside,” Wall said. “I was carrying the wheelchair and the security guard said 'Sorry, you cannot bring that inside.’ I explained that it is his wheelchair but he said it could not be because it 'did not have handles.’”
Noah’s sister, Steph, joined her mother in attempting to get the guard to let her brother in, even taking him from his chair to show the guard that his legs didn’t work.
Wall was left devastated following the incident.
“Would they ask an adult to explain his wheelchair?” she said. “I am just so upset for Noah, that anybody would treat him this way.”
Noah’s story soon went viral, prompting hundreds of people to reach out in support of Noah and his family. Harrods subsequently issued a statement on their website acknowledging the incident.
The statement read:
“The ground level is flat and there are security personnel at all the doors who would be pleased to assist with entry. We sincerely apologise [sic] for any offence [sic] or distress this incident has caused. Harrods would like to clarify that our security officer did not realise [sic] the item being carried by a member of Ms Wall's party was in fact a child's wheelchair. It was for this reason our officer asked for it to be stored in our left luggage department while the rest of the family went into the building.
"This was an unintentional error in judgement, and again we apologise [sic] for this. We must, however, clarify that at no point were Ms Wall or her son denied entry into Harrods and our policy is to welcome all wheelchair users to the store. We have subsequently contact Ms Wall to offer our apologies, as well as an additional gesture of goodwill."
Photo Credit: mirror.co.uk, hugsfornoah.blogspot.com