Oh dear, well THIS is all kinds of awkward, isn’t it? Here’s the background: Nicola Colenso and her partner Rick Murray were travelling to Manchester from Ibiza with their 8-year-old daughter Yasmin and their 3 other children when a row broke out about the amount of noise Yasmin was making.
Yasmin has Sturge-Weber syndrome, a neurological condition that affects the skin, brain and eyes and can have associated developmental problems and seizures.
It would seem that during the flight, Yasmin was distressed and crying, and the lady in the seat in front became annoyed because she was trying to sleep.
The Facebook rant
A rather robust exchange then ensued, which Yasmin’s mum then turned into an open letter on Facebook, writing:
“So, Dear Lady on the Manchester bound flight from Ibiza yesterday!
“We are sorry our daughter stopped you from getting your beauty sleep but clearly she was having a meltdown and was not feeling 100%.
“As you felt the need to turn round and ask us to “shut that child up!” This didn’t help her anxiety levels or ours in trying to manage the situation.
“We explained her situation to you very politely and said we are sorry if she is causing a problem and maybe ask if she could to be moved?
“This resulting in you repeating that you were “sick of the noise and can’t you just shut her up!” You continued to be abusive and publicly called her Daddy a “P***K” in front of her and her other 3 siblings.
“Your behaviour and outburst was not helpful what so ever in helping to calm down our daughters anxiety.
I hope social media helps for this post to find you to let you know that same little 8-year-old girl ended up being taken to hospital by ambulance that evening as she became seriously unwell. Maybe you managed to get a good night sleep?”
Alongside the text, Nicola posted a pic of the disgruntled passenger.
What MFM thinks
We totally get how this other lady’s response to little Yasmin was bang out of order – she could have asked to have been moved, or just dealt with it – after all, children are noisy, and children with health issues can’t always be soothed or made to understand they have to be quiet.
Frankly, on a flight of around 2 hours and 50 minutes, it probs is something you should just suck up (or put earplugs in) rather than create a song and dance about. And resorting to disgusting language in front of the children and other passengers just wasn’t right at all in our opinion.
BUT – and there is a but – we have to admit we are not entirely comfortable with how this lady has been outed, either.
Is sharing her pic on social media really the way to go? Isn’t it just encouraging trolling, hatred and embarrassment? Couldn’t the message have been posted without ‘shaming’ her with an accompanying picture?
Nicola told the Daily Mail that she was ‘shocked’ by the way the woman spoke to her family, and said it was “clear to anyone who looked that something wasn’t right with Yasmin”.
“But even after explaining it to her calmly and politely, she gave no consideration to this,” she said. “The only thing she seemed to care about was that she could hear what was going on.
“We remained calm and didn’t react to what she said as keeping Yasmin calm was our priority and we just wanted to get her home.
“But afterwards I really wanted to raise awareness so it doesn’t happen to others who are in the same situation.
“I want people to think twice when they see someone in this situation. Not all disabilities are visible so they shouldn’t just presume.
“They don’t have to deal with it like this. They could offer support. I know of someone in a similar situation where the family in front played peekaboo and it calmed the child down a lot.
“This woman didn’t have to do that, but she certainly didn’t have to kick off.”
The post on Nicola’s Facebook page has so far been shared by 99,042 people, and the majority of them are supportive of Nicola, but some have been critical and accused her of being unable to control her child – which again, we don’t really think is the way any of this should have been handled – all this blame and ‘shaming’ of EITHER party.
We are of course hugely sympathetic and think the whole scenario is just awful, but sharing the pic was just a step too far, wasn’t it? It doesn’t really leave anyone involved heaped in glory, does it?
What do you think? Do tell us in comments or on our Facebook page.
Photo: Nicola Colenso on Facebook