Creating a voice for the Disability Sector
Creating a voice for the Disability Sector
Life-changing accident leads Lorraine to Holistic Horizons

Life-changing accident leads Lorraine to Holistic Horizons

31 March 2022

A life-shattering fireworks accident 22 years ago changed Lorraine Taylor’s life forever, but also led her into the kind, caring arms of Holistic Horizons.

Lorraine has an acquired brain injury but it wasn’t until years later, because of her injury, that she was able to recognise that.

Two decades on, the Redcliffe resident has come a long way and credits her parents Ernie and Pam Price and NDIS-registered provider Holistic Horizons for getting her here.

She has regained her driver’s license and now lives independently, with regular support from Holistic Horizons.

It’s a far cry from the night of the horrific fireworks blast, but Lorraine is grateful to her family and Holistic Horizons for helping get her where she is today.

She is deeply grateful to Holistic Horizons director Drew Cason.

“He has done so much for me that I will never forget how his personal compassion and attention to me when I first met him, has changed my life for the better,” Lorraine said.

As an extra-special treat, Lorraine will be Holistic Horizon’s special guest at the Brisbane Disability Staff Recognition Awards 2022 on April 29!

Lorraine was so excited to be invited to the Gala Dinner by Drew. She can’t wait to dress up and attend a wonderful night out with the Holistic Horizons team. 

She said she was also thrilled to play a part in the Holistic Horizons Promo video, with her parents, which will be shown at the gala.

Lorraine - who was born in Manchester, England, but moved with her family to Australia in 1971 - is also grateful to her support co-ordinator, Raylene.

She said Raylene patiently clarified everything regarding NDIS for her, as she found the scheme difficult to navigate.

Lorraine’s journey has been a long, painful one.

Now 58, Lorraine’s life, and that of her family and friends, changed in a blink of an eye back in 2000.

She was on her way to collect one of her daughters from a friend’s house with two of her other daughters when she decided to stay and watch a fireworks display at a nearby school.

However, the display was faulty.

An 11-year-old girl was killed, a man who had been helping with the display lost the bottom half of a leg, and Lorraine was severely injured.Several other bystanders received minor injuries. 

A close friend of Lorraine’s used her mobile phone to call 000 and Pam and Ernie, who arrived just before the ambulance.

Immediately after the explosion, the fire department arrived and the crew worked on Lorraine, who had been resuscitated at the scene by Scott McCrea, another one of Lorraine’s friends, before the ambulance had arrived.

She was stabilised and taken to the Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital with traumatic and severe head injuries and extensive skull bone fractures.

Lorraine lost her left eye, 30% of her frontal lobe, sustained severe scarring to a number of lobes on the left side of her brain as well as severe lacerations to her head and face. 

She suffered severe phosphorus burns to her right leg and the back of her head, her left ear canal cut, her jaw and left side, including the eye socket. 

She had immediate surgery, followed by two more operations, that night and the next day. These have since been followed by other operations on the left side of her face and eye socket.

Lorraine spent many weeks in hospital, before being transferred to Princess Alexandra Brain Injury Unit.

Between late August 2000 and August 2004, Lorraine’s ex-husband was her carer, but unfortunately, their marriage broke down and her three daughters went to live with their father.

Lorraine moved in with her parents who undertook all aspects of Lorraine’s care from arranging all medical appointments to re-establishing contact with Acquired Brain Injury Outreach Service.

From August 2006, Lorraine attended the training facility of Guide Dogs Australia at Bald Hills for white cane training. It was during this training she suffered two small epileptic fits which left her distressed and depressed.

Despite this setback, Lorraine’s parents were able to interest Lorraine in the Riding for Disabled (RDA) and by volunteering themselves were able to involve Lorraine in the association for several years, in addition to all her other activities and medical appointments. 

In 2010, Lorraine regained her driver’s license, with the help of her Mum and Dad and a knowledgeable driving instructor. It took a few months with Ernie alongside for Lorraine to build up her confidence and be a solo driver again.

That same year, steps were taken to allow Lorraine even more independence and her parents helped her buy a unit in Redcliffe.

After months of visiting her unit with them, Lorraine was confident enough to live alone independently.

It was after this transition to independent living Lorraine became aware that she actually had a disability, due to her brain damage. She realised she still required additional help to participate in social activities and hobbies because of her speech difficulties, balance and mobility issues.

Lorraine was suffering severe, ongoing depression and just didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything.

But then the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) arrived and gave Lorraine, and participants like her, opportunities to have support to live life once more. 

When the NDIS became available in 2016, Lorraine was able to access Holistic Horizons Support Services as her support agency, and through them she has found life much more enjoyable.

Lorraine has a wealth of knowledge about her disabilities and experiences which she uses to help others like herself. 

She is seen as a caring, understanding woman who always asks if others are okay.

Through the NDIS and Holistic Horizons, Lorraine, with help from her support workers, has been able to ride again with RDA, take a holiday by herself, as well as part of a group and with one other client!

She has weekly physiotherapy and fortnightly speech therapy to help with her disabilities and has found confidence in joining social activities with her support workers. She even gets to enjoy adventures like visiting Queensland national parks or Australia Zoo.

Lorraine is no longer suffering from depression. She loves living alone independently, but she also loves her support workers taking her out to experience adventure and nature, adding it makes her life feel so fulfilled. 

Lorraine also loves the Holistic Horizons monthly barbeques where everyone socialises at the beach.

The Holistic Horizons team is also very proud of Lorraine - she has come a long way and they are thrilled to see her always smiling, positive and living a very happy fulfilled life. 


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