Paralyzed man’s wife responds angrily to anonymous note left on car parked in handicapped spot

By Travis Gettys
Monday, October 21, 2013 12:30 EDT
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Matt Milstead WOOD-TV
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A passive-aggressive note left on a car parked in a handicapped spot has drawn international attention to a paralyzed Michigan man and his wife.

Matt Milstead said he went last week to the Grand Rapids YMCA to play wheelchair rugby, and he found the handwritten note shoved in the door handle when he returned to his BMW, which had the proper handicapped parking tag hanging from the rearview mirror.

“I would love to see your wheelchair!” the anonymous note said. “I’m guessing male 25-35 years professional who thinks he’s got the world by the ass. But I could be wrong.”

Milstead said the note left him puzzled, but his wife said she became “instantly furious.”

“It’s kind of ironic the guy was trying to right a wrong,” Leslie Milstead said. “He assumed some jerk had parked in a handicapped spot that shouldn’t be, and so he was really trying. He probably felt like a good person and thought he was doing a good thing, but the problem is he was wrong.”

Leslie Milstead posted a reply on her own Facebook page that has since gone viral.

“You were so close on the age, he’s actually 36, and he is a professional with a full time job,” Leslie Milstead wrote. “He is also a quadriplegic, which for him means that he can no longer move his legs or his fingers in either hand. He has no grip.”

She said her husband would gladly trade his 6-year-old BMW and handicapped parking pass for the use of his legs and hands, and she asked why the note writer was so sure a handicapped person couldn’t work hard, be successful and own a nice vehicle.

Leslie Milstead said she never expected her reply to gain so much attention, but she and her husband hope the episode will serve as a lesson to others.

“I never expected it to get to this level,” Matt Milstead said. “I kind of looked at it like, well, this will be another. It will happen again. But, hey, if I change someone’s way of thinking, then it was worth it.”

Watch video uploaded to YouTube by WOOD-TV:

[Image via YouTube]

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