By Christian Smith, DENISAURUS NEWS
An award-winning British wheelchair racer says she was forced to wet herself on a train because it had no toilet disabled facilities.
Anne Wafula Strike, 42 who was travelling a CrossCountry train from Coventry to Stanstead on December 8 when this incident occurred.
The paralympian was forced to relieve herself on her seat as the accessible toilets were out of order.
Staff suggested that Mrs Wafula Strike get off the train early and use one at the station. However, this would have delayed her journey home.
Mrs Wafula Strike who spoke publicly about the entire ordeal said she was “robbed of her dignity
“I would like to ask the train company when will they give me my dignity back? As a disabled person I have worked so hard over the years to build up my confidence and self-belief,”she added.
“Having access to a toilet, especially in a developed nation like the UK, is one of the most basic rights. I tried to conceal the smell of urine by spraying perfume over myself. When I finally got home after my nightmare journey, I scrubbed myself clean in the shower then flung myself on my bed and sobbed for hours.
“After thinking about it for a while I decided to go public despite the personal humiliation of doing so in the hope that it will bring about change for other people with disabilities who want to contribute to society but are prevented from doing so. Too many people with disabilities suffer in silence when this kind of thing happens because they feel too embarrassed to talk about it.
“The whole incident made me feel as if I can’t play an active role in society and should just hide behind closed doors. Being forced to sit in my own urine destroyed my self-esteem and my confidence.
“People with disabilities don’t want perfection, we just want the basics and to have our independence. But lack of access and inclusive facilities make us feel as if we are an afterthought.”
A CrossCountry spokesman appologised, saying: “Our managing director has passed on our apologies to her along with an explanation of why it appears all our systems failed her on that day.
“We hope she will take up our offer and contact us in the new year so we can offer her a more pleasant experience of travelling with us.”