Doncaster disabled woman in parking ticket row

Sara Brautigam, of Kirk Sandall has a rare illness that causes her heart to stop beating and she is wanting to raise awareness of the condition. Picture: Andrew Roe
Sara Brautigam, of Kirk Sandall has a rare illness that causes her heart to stop beating and she is wanting to raise awareness of the condition. Picture: Andrew Roe
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A woman with a condition that led her to be classified clinically dead on 36 occasions is furious after being issued with a parking ticket – while attending hospital.

Sara Brautigam displayed her disabled parking badge as normal when she turned up for an appointment at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

They haven’t notified anyone about these changes so I think a lot of people will get caught out

But the 21-year-old was stunned when she returned to her car, parked on a bay in Thorne Road near the hospital, to find a parking ticket.

Sara said: “I was really angry when I came out of my appointment and saw the ticket.

“I displayed my disabled parking badge and parked in a bay in Thorne Road as the hospital car park was full.

“I’ve parked there lots of times before and never had a problem. The last time I parked there I was in the hospital for two hours and didn’t have a problem.

“When I complained about it to the council, I was told people with a disabled badge were no longer allowed to park in just any of the bays and it had to be a designated disabled parking bay.

“I think a lot of people will end up getting caught out by this, because it isn’t made clear.

“It doesn’t seem fair.”

Sara, of Kirk Sandall, suffers from postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, joint hypermobility syndrome and a heart condition.

The set of complex conditions resulted in her Sara being classed as clinically dead on 36 occasions and led to her visiting accident and emergency at the hospital 64 times in the space of a year.

Sara is in the process of writing a letter challenging the £25 fine.

Gill Gillies, Doncaster Council assistant director of environment, said: “Unfortunately blue badges are not valid in the car park in question, as signposted in the area.

“We would advise all drivers to make sure they take notice of signs when they are parking their car to avoid this kind of situation.”

Sara said her life has been turned upside down by her complex medical conditions.

After five frustrating years of inconclusive medical appointments, Sara was finally diagnosed with PoTs when she was aged 17.

She also has joint hypermobility syndrome – an overlapping illness which means her joints are more prone to injury and dislocation.

The 21-year-old had visited the hospital for a consultation about an operation she is set to have on her ankle to stop it dislocating when she was issued with the fine on Wednesday, April 22.