A terminally ill Hastings man wants people to become more aware of conditions you can't see after someone left threatening notes and caused $3000 of damage to his car when he parked in a mobility spot.
Nick Laing told the Herald he found the "shocking" notes on his car on Saturday afternoon at around 4.45pm when he and his wife decided to visit Napier.
The 34-year-old arrived at Marine Parade at 2.30pm and parked in a disabled spot before hanging his mobility permit on his mirror.
Laing has cystic fibrosis, which mostly affect the lungs but also his other organs. He said that his condition causes difficulty breathing.
He said on this particular day he decided to park in the mobility spot as his chest was very bad. Around two hours later after going for a walk they came back to find the threatening notes.
One note read "feel good while u can still walk without pain f***wit (sic)" and the other said, "I'll give u a disability if u want it c***."
Laing said he cried when he first saw the notes, but was consoled by another couple who arrived at their car nearby at the same time.
"I have never had a note like that before ... I never ever thought somebody would do that," he said.
"[The other couple] told me to burn it, just to put it at the back of my mind. But how can you when somebody actually threatens to give you a disability ... when I already have one.
"I don't normally park in [mobility] spots, I only ever park in a mobility park if I'm having a bad day chest wise, otherwise I don't."
It wasn't until the next day when Laing was running late for church that he noticed the scratches on his car.
"Something caught my eye on my bonnet and then I realised, somebody has keyed my bonnet. I walked around and pretty much my entire car has been keyed," he said.
"I have spoken to someone and they reckon it will cost $3000 to fix it."
Laing hopes his insurance will cover some of the cost.
After discovering the damage to his car, Laing made a report with police and gave them the threatening notes.
"I still would have gone to the police with the notes as that's threatening behaviour, but keying my car, that's a step too far," he said.
After the horrific ordeal, Laing said he wanted to spread more awareness that not all disabilities can be seen physically and if people have questions they should ask.
"On the outside, I look well, but I'm not. I'm far from it, I'm terminally sick," he explained.
"If somebody sees someone like me parked in a mobility park and they second guess ... 'why are they parked there? Do they even have a permit?' rather than leave a disgusting note, or do damage to someone else's property. Just ask.
"If whoever did it, if they had just said 'hey look, I see you are parked in a mobility park, do you have a permit? Are you allowed to park there?' I would have told them about my condition."
Laing said it cost him $50 for his permit and had to go to the doctor to get one.
"It's not something that I can just freely get. There are all these criteria you have to meet to get one."
According to CCS Disability Action, those who have medical conditions that severely restricts you walking, such as breathlessness, are eligible for a parking permit.
Speaking about his condition, Laing said his lungs work at 42 per cent of the capacity of a healthy adult and he can barely walk 10 metres without coughing his lungs out.
"Cystic fibrosis is something I have had all my life," he said.
"The hospital is my second home. This year alone I have had two admissions over winter, and each admission is like two-three weeks at a time.
"This condition is terminal so eventually, it's going to catch up with me so I have to do ... all my treatments so I can stay around as long as I can.
"I do physio two-three times a day to clear my lungs, otherwise, if I get a chest infection it could kill me. A cold could kill me. So I pick and choose where I go, if I go somewhere and someone is sick I'll leave.
"I've done well. I wouldn't wish CF on anybody. I've got a twin sister and I'm glad that I got it, not her."
Laing revealed the incident has made him stressed and paranoid about parking in a mobility spot.
"If it happens once, who says it's not going to happen again."
Police told the Herald they were investigating the incident.
"Anyone who experiences threatening or abusive behaviour, or deliberate damage to their property should contact their local police," a spokesperson said.