Vandals destroy water access way for cerebral palsy patient

Staff ~ The Cape Breton Post
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NORTH SYDNEY — The mother of a cerebral palsy patient wants vandals to know the full effect of their continued targeting of their property.

The family of Phyllis MacKinnon, including her adult son Dan, has been summering at a property near Long Island for many years. Their son is a cerebral palsy patient with mobility issues but has been able to access nearby water in the summer thanks to the generous support of local craftsmen who built a series of stairs and railings for him.

However, over the winter vandals destroyed and burned a portion of her son’s water access way for the second year in a row.

“They are being destructive to something that Danny needs desperately to get to the water,” she said.

“These guys that go up there to party. They set fire to tires up there and burned two trees but the stairs are so important to get him to the water and they just take the railings and the posts to burn in an evening fire for an evening of fun.”

MacKinnon and her husband Jack are both seniors and lack the means to repair the latest round of damage, she said. That means an important part of her son’s summer is likely lost.

“Getting to the water is our problem. Jack said we’ll probably have to get railings on again but getting those railings on is not something we are able to do.”

MacKinnon wanted to get their family’s message out so that the people who are vandalizing their property will know the effects they are having on their son.  

“The ones that go up there should realize that the set of stairs was there to help my son, who has a disability, to be able to get to the water. They don’t realize that they are having fun at his expense and they’ll continue to do it.”

Geographic location: Long Island

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