Terry has episodic ataxia type 2 (EA2) and suffers attacks. Here he shares his story of a time he was treated with neglect and disrespect from Transport for London (TfL).
“I usually use my bicycle as transport around London. One day not long ago, I decided to catch the DLR train as it wasn’t particularly busy. Whilst I was on the train, I could feel a migraine coming on; an ataxia attack, something I have suffered with since I was 11, and I am now 30 years old.
The migraine caused me to fall on the floor. I was laying in the middle of the train floor with a migraine that I hadn’t experienced in years. I was unable to speak or walk. I was told to leave the train, but I couldn’t walk, and they didn’t believe me. So, two passengers carried me off and dumped me at next station.
The police came to the station and I showed them my ataxia card. They still continued to question me: ‘what have you been taking?’ and accused me of being on drugs.
Soon after, the paramedics turned up and thankfully drove me home to my mum’s house. They could have taken me to the hospital but there was no point. There’s nothing they could have done.
The police kept hold of my bike and I was told that only the officer in charge could give it back to me. I am fearing about getting my bike back in case the police want to interview me about the incident and treat me like a criminal.”
For someone suffering with ataxia, day-to-day tasks such as getting to work and back can be a strain and more difficult than usual. For someone to then be accused of being on drugs and not believed, it can tear someone down. By making ataxia a better-known condition, we can help people like Terry.