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When Walmart Told My Limping Daughter 'Only Adults' Could Use the Electric Cart

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My daughter and I encountered an amazing champion the other day. I’ve been wanting to write about our experience, but I’m a little embarrassed we even needed her help. You see, my daughter has bipolar disorder. Normally she runs and jumps like most other children her age. But recently, one of the medications we’ve been giving her to stabilize her moods makes the right side of her body numb. The most noticeable part of this is that she walks with a limp. We’re trying to get rid of the offending drug, but since it will take awhile for the effects to lessen, she lives with the limp for now.

• What is Bipolar disorder?

She’s pretty good about not letting the limp get in her way. I’ve noticed that it gets worse when she’s tired or has walked a lot. Knowing this, I was not surprised when she asked me if she could use an electric cart at Walmart on a recent shopping trip there. Since we hadn’t used one before, we asked the women at customer service if she could use one. I was polite and explained my child had a limp. After looking at us quizzically, both employees said no. They told us that the carts were only for adults.

Soon after, I was stopped by a Walmart employee. She had heard the whole exchange a few minutes previously. She felt that we were discriminated against. She informed me the carts were there for anyone who needed them. Then she confirmed this with her manager. I made sure to get the manager’s name so when we went back to get the cart, I could tell the women at customer service.

My daughter and I placed our order at the in-store McDonald’s and waited at the counter. The next thing I knew, our new hero was riding up on the cart. It wasn’t enough for her to tell us she felt we had been wronged. It wasn’t enough for her to confirm with the manager that my child was entitled to a cart. No, this kind and caring lady went further out of her way. She secured and brought the cart to my child.

My heart was singing at the actions of this compassionate woman. She didn’t need to hear our story. She believed us and wanted to make things right. Once we got our food, my daughter happily climbed aboard her new ride. Since my mom had had to use a cart like this in her later years, I knew how it operated. I gave my daughter a quick tutorial and we were off. My daughter was so happy to not have to worry about her leg slowing her down. I stayed close by her assisting her as needed while we shopped. At one point, the cart stopped working so we flagged down another employee who called guest services to bring another cart. I don’t think the employee who initially denied my child the cart was too happy to bring out a replacement cart. She did though.

When we were done with our shopping, guess who was waiting to ring us up? Yep, our new friend. While I was finishing paying for our purchases, I chatted a bit with our helper. I thanked her profusely as I explained why we needed the cart. She wished us well and sent us on our merry way. I’m not certain how long my daughter will have this limp. I hope it won’t be permanent. Whatever the case, I’m glad there our people like the employee at Walmart, who go out of their way to make sure my daughter has what she needs.

Originally published: April 24, 2016
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