Mother of five-year-old suffering from fatal disease constantly harassed by neighbors over medics occupy parking spaces
Even though the neighbors are fully aware of Cade’s condition, they are still complaining about parking spots taken up by medics who come to the house to look after him.
Neighbors of a terminally ill boy are reportedly harassing his mother because a team of medical professionals is causing inconvenience after occupying parking spaces on her block. Five-year-old Cade is suffering from Krabbe disease and fighting for his life as his mother, Melissa Huitema, of Calgary, Alberta struggles to take care of him. Krabbe disease is an extremely rare, genetic illness with no known cure that directly affects the central nervous system. It is so lethal that those affected by it barely make it past the age of two.
"Cade is completely aware of what’s going on around him, but his body is failing him," said Huitema.
According to The Canadian Press, Huitema, who is a registered nurse herself, is banking on her colleagues to care for her son. Nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and social workers frequently come to look after the boy at their residence. That said, little Cade is unable to swallow food normally and has to be fed through a tube, calling for constant supervision.
In order to stave off the risk of developing pneumonia, Cade's airway needs to be suctioned regularly. He needs to take as many as 20 medications every single day. On the other hand, in order to hone his skills, a developmental specialist works with him daily on science experiments as well as arts and crafts.
"They’ve taught him how to communicate. He looks to his right for yes, his left for no," said Huitema.
"He makes decisions on his own. He picks his books. The nurses even let him pick out what he wants to wear for the day."
The struggling nurse and her husband have three children together and live in a single-family home on a street lined with similar buildings and barely any free space in between them.
And the street is the only parking option as none of the homes have garages or driveways, causing regular arguments with the neighbors.
"I’ve had people come to my door and tell me that I needed to move the vehicle or they were going to hit it," she said.
"I’ve had people leave notes on the vehicle asking not to park here, park there. I’ve had people saying 'Can you not park in front of my house?' when I’m walking out with my kids.
"I’m trying to deal with other things. There’s kind of a lot going on."
She says that everyone in the neighborhood is well aware of her son's condition, and still they never stop complaining.
"It’s just infuriating," the distressed mother says.
Huitema wouldn't identify the said neighborhood as she is scared she will infuriate her neighbors even more, but hopes that someday they will show empathy towards little Cade.
"We need to be more aware of what people are going through," she said.
"You need to take a step back and think about your actions."
However, some neighbors understand her predicament and try to leave parking spaces open as and when possible. By law, parking spaces in the vicinity are public and so the Canadian government cannot ask neighbors to oblige.