Student Liam Seacombe said security guards even kicked him out of the restaurant despite him showing a special card
A Crohn’s disease sufferer has hit out at McDonald’s for stopping him from using the toilet in an emergency.
Student Liam Seacombe said security guards even kicked him out of the restaurant – despite him showing a special card for sufferers of the debilitating disease.
Liam said he had become unwell at 2.50am last Thursday while on a night out round town.
He asked to use the toilet but was refused entry.
He told the Huddersfield Examiner: “I kindly asked a member of staff if I could use their toilet.
“The member of staff advised that the toilets were closed and further grabbed the manager who said that they were closed and couldn’t be accessed.
“At this point, I presented them with my ‘Can’t Wait’ card, where the manager again, quite rudely, told me the toilets were shut.
“I explained to them about the card and my illness, but insisting that the toilets were completely inaccessible, they ushered the security guards to remove me from the restaurant for simply wanting to use the toilet.”
Liam said he had been in and out of hospital since 2012 with the illness, which causes diarrhoea, abdominal pain, cramping, extreme fatigue, blood and mucus in stools, nausea, vomiting, weight problems, swollen skin and mouth ulcers.
He said the Crohn’s and Colitis UK charity gave him the urgent toilet access card, which reads ‘Can’t wait. Please help – the holder of this card has inflammatory bowel disease and needs to use your toilet facilities urgently.’
He also has a key which provides access to locked disabled toilets throughout the UK.
He said: “My ‘invisible illness’ is debilitating – I worry about losing control of my body and the embarrassment it could cause and despite being such a ruthless illness, the anxiety of not being able to get to a toilet on time or worse can be more crippling than suffering from Crohn’s itself.
“On this occasion, for the first time, I felt this embarrassment. I was mortified that a company as large as McDonald’s could be so uneducated about a disease that is rapidly becoming more prominent and heard of.
“I wonder how another human being could refuse someone in desperate need the right to use a toilet that was already numb with embarrassment to ask in the first place.
“That place in my mind is somewhere I never wish to venture to again and similarly, neither is the McDonald’s restaurant.
“I was well within my rights to seek the aid of the disabled toilet. Some people or organisations like employers, shops, local authorities and schools must take positive steps to remove the barriers that could be faced because of disabilities, both visible and invisible.
“To me this feels like a setback, when Olympic swimmers Siobhan-Marie O’Connor and Kathleen Baker both won silver medals at Rio 2016 this week, raising invaluable awareness for Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease, as well as one of the UK’s big four supermarkets made a fundamental move to help people in the UK living with the condition.
“Crohn’s Disease affects at least 115,000 people in the UK and millions more worldwide. – Are McDonald’s going to refuse this many people access to a toilet facility?
A McDonald’s spokesman said: “We would like to apologise for any embarrassment or upset caused to Mr Seacombe and encourage him to get in contact with our Customer Services team.