The Taylor family have been struggling to transport their 31-year-old daughter Nicole, who has Rhett's syndrome, without access to a wheelchair accessible vehicle.
The Taylor family have been struggling to transport their 31-year-old daughter Nicole, who has Rhett's syndrome, without access to a wheelchair accessible vehicle. Warren Lynam

Disabled woman 'trapped at home' due to lack of transport

NICOLE Taylor has spent nearly a year trapped at home due to a lack of access to transport.

Ms Taylor, 31, of Mooloolha, suffers from Rhett Syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterised by normal early growth and development followed by a slowing of development, loss of purposeful use of the hands, slowed brain and head growth, problems with walking, seizures, and intellectual disability.

Debbie Taylor said her wheelchair-bound daughter was unable to venture out of her home unless they could muster the strength to lift Nicole into the family vehicle.

"In order to take her out, we need two people to carry her into the car and then dismantle and lift the heavy wheelchair into the boot," Mrs Taylor said.

"She's an adult in her own right and she needs to be able to get out with a carer to access her community, go to the movies and go shopping. Do the things she enjoys."

Mrs Taylor said using taxis was unsafe and expensive.

She said restrictions on the government's Your Life, Your Choice program meant the family could not use funding available to Nicole to purchase a wheelchair-modified vehicle to greatly improve her quality of life.

It is a situation that Multicap self-directed service support coordinator Michelle Thomas has vowed personally to help remedy.

"She's an adult in her own right and she needs to be able to get out with a carer to access her community, go to the movies and go shopping. - Debbie Taylor.

Ms Thomas said brand-new modified wheelchair vehicles could cost up to $40,000 and there was a "huge" gap in what Disability Services special funding grants could provide to an individual.

Not content to simply offer advice and support, Ms Thomas put her feet where her mouth is and competed in the Sunshine Coast Marathon last month to raise money for the Taylor family.

She completed the half marathon distance (21km) in just under two hours and is almost halfway towards reaching her $5000 goal.

"I felt so strongly that I needed to do something,'' Ms Thomas said. "I couldn't stand the thought of someone being so isolated from their community.

"It was an eye-opener for me to spend time with this family and see how the Sunshine Coast is really quite challenging in terms of access to transport and for Nicole.

"Using the family vehicle puts her at risk as she is quite vulnerable physically."

Ms Thomas said the funding gap for the Taylors could be anywhere from $4000 to $8000 and while they could get a loan to cover this, it would simply put extra strain on the family.

If you would like to donate towards a modified wheelchair vehicle for the Taylors, visit http://capeability.gofundraise.com.au/page/MichelleCape



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