KUALA LUMPUR, September 2 — A Malaysian mother from Batu Pahat, Johor lambasted a man who claimed that her daughter’s cerebral palsy (CP) condition was contagious.
The mother, Norzalinda Hamzah, had posted on Facebook recently, about her experience when she had taken her daughter, Nur Alisha Batrisya Ahmad Fauzi, for a doctor’s appointment at a government hospital in Batu Pahat, earlier that day.
After registering at the counter, Norzalinda who was just catching her breath after walking some distance under the sun from the carpark while pushing her daughter in a stroller, was suddenly greeted by a young married couple.
The husband apparently had asked Norzalinda to move Alisha away from the area.
Fearing that her daughter may have accidentally excreted, Norzalinda did a quick check on her daughter before she asked the man why.
“The man said ‘this area has pregnant women and you bring your daughter here with her condition, do you know she might infect all our children here?’.
“I was taken aback and speechless. I looked at him and calmly said to him that he does not need to worry because he will never get a child like mine because you’re not as amazing as I am.
“Only amazing parents can handle a child with this condition. You in the meantime, are weak,” Norzalinda wrote in her post.
She added that she was surprised that even in 2022, there were still those who believed that the illness was contagious.
Norzalinda’s post garnered support from local Facebook users including by the Public Health Malaysia who had also shared her post on their Facebook page.
Norzalinda reiterated to told Malay Mail that CP was not contagious.
The teacher also said that she might have responded that way due to exhaustion as she had just finished teaching a class earlier.
“I then rushed back to prep Alisha for her doctor’s appointment at the clinic and when I got there, I had to park quite a distance from the hospital plus I was hungry.
“That might’ve been the reason how that statement came to be. I’m not an amazing mother as I claimed, I’m just a normal mother,” Norzalinda said.
When talking about Alisha’s condition, Norzalinda shared that Alisha is 13 years old this year and she was diagnosed with spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy which affected her whole body.
Norzalinda also said although individuals with CP are considered as persons with disability (OKU) in Malaysia, however, as her daughter’s guardian and driver, she was disappointed that she couldn’t access some of the OKU privileges such as the OKU parking spots.
This is because she’s still considered just as the driver of the OKU.
“It’s not just me, but others are facing the same thing because the OKU parking has been specified for OKU drivers only but not for those who drove these patients there.
“For my case, I had to park my car all the way in the field area. I still needed to assemble my daughter’s stroller (which is not like a normal stroller), and I had to push her under the hot sun all the way to the hospital. What if it was raining that day?
“It’s sad but it’s a fact, not all parents are able to go to their children’s appointments together, like me previously, I had to go alone because my husband couldn’t get a leave from his office,” Norzalinda said.
According to the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention site (CDC), CP is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture.
CP is the most common motor disability of childhood with about one out of 345 children being identified with CP according to CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network.