A model was humiliated when staff at a conference center refused to let him use the bathroom after his stoma bag started to leak.
Blake Beckford, 36, from the United Kingdom was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis—a form of chronic bowel disease—in 2003. He underwent ileostomy—a surgery where the lowest part of the small intestine is brought through a small opening in the belly—in 2013 and was fitted with a stoma bag on the outside of his body to collect body waste, according to his personal website.
Beckford, who is also a bodybuilder, realized that his stoma bag was starting to leak as the adhesive had come loose when he was walking past the Manchester Central Convention Complex, reported the Independent.
He made a quick stop at the conference center and explained to the receptionist that he desperately needed to use the bathroom due to a medical condition.
— BLAKE BECKFORD (@Blake_Beckford) December 22, 2016
“I headed to the nearest loos to avoid having feces all down my trousers,” he told the newspaper. “I just wanted to use a bathroom to sort it out. It’s a basic human need.”
However, the receptionist told him that the toilets “weren’t for the general public,” despite the urgency of his situation, the model explained in his Facebook post on Thursday, Jan. 11.
“I felt not only anxious because I was aware that there was potential it was going to go everywhere, but simply humiliated,” he told the Independent.
Beckford was left with no choice but to run to a nearby restaurant where he was able to use the bathroom.
“I’m appalled that you turned me away forcing me to panic in a place I am not familiar with to find the nearest toilet,” he said in his post. “I could of [sic] been left humiliated in the street should my bag of fully leaked I think it’s disgusting that you refused me.”
“I may have a condition not seen by your eyes, but isn’t it common decency to allow me to use your toilet?” he continued. “It really does show the lack of knowledge of stomas/ostomies not being recognized as a need to use a toilet urgently and an invisible disability.”
Beckford is a campaigner for invisible disabilities and would like to raise more awareness about invisible disabilities. He hopes that by sharing his story, it will prevent it happening again to someone else.
“I hope that in posting what happened to me will prevent it happening to someone else and if we share this message we can raise awareness together,” Beckford said.
Manchester Central has since apologized to Beckford, reported the newspaper.