A YOUNG Chorley woman is fighting for her life after a horrific quad bike smash during her dream trip to Australia.
Talented photographer Holly Raper, 23, had been enjoying the adventure of a lifetime when she crashed on a dairy farm on King Island, off the coast of Tasmania.
The former student at Runshaw College in Leyland had to be airlifted to hospital from the farm, where she had been working.
She is in a critical condition.
Her parents Chris and Elaine, from Whittle-le-Woods, flew straight out to be at her bedside on December 30, but she remains on a life support machine and doctors are continuing to run tests.
A campaign to raise £25,000 called Help Holly Home has now been launched by frantic family and friends in Chorley to help pay for medical treatment and long-term support.
In just days more than £5,000 has been pledged with the help from locals at The Cavendish Arms, in Brindle - where Holly used to work.
Family friend Ann Harrison said: “It’s terrible.
“Holly had left in November to go travelling for a year in Australia and she was taking pictures and writing a blog as she went along.
“She had just got a job on the cattle farm and was on her way home on a quad when she crashed and had to be air-lifted to hospital.
“She is on a life support machine and her parents had initially been told she’d be lucky to survive the night, but she is putting up a real strong fight and they have flown straight out there to be with her.”
A description on Holly’s photography website describes how she specialises in landscape and macro photography and a has keen interest in travel after a trip through South East Asia.
Her friend Kevin Ormisher, who is involved in the fundraising, said: “Holly is such a nice girl and a very talented photographer.
“She had set off travelling for 12 months and had got a job working on a farm on an island off Tazmania.
“She has suffered serious injuries and doctors had said she’d be lucky to survive the first 24 hours, but she has shown signs of movement in her fingers and pain sensations in all four limbs.
“She is really fighting for her life and we are determined to do everything we can from this end to make sure there is enough money in place to pay for long-term treatment and anything else she might need.”
Fundraising events are already being planned for the next few weeks and the efforts are being co-ordinated by staff and locals at The Cavendish.
Landlord Robin Tillbrook said: “Holly loved farming, the outdoors and photography and she is a quiet, but bubbly person.
“She is very friendly and would do anything for anyone. The locals here treated her as a daughter or sister and everyone has been shocked by what has happened.
“She was living her dream in Australia and it’s tragic that it’s come to this.
“Everyone has been rallying round to do what they can and we have set up the fund as we don’t know what long-term care Holly will need.
“We don’t want her family to have to worry about anything else and have already raised more than £5,000 with people donating anything from £5 to £500.
“We need to keep the momentum going though as this is going to be an uphill struggle, but everyday Holly seems to be making a slight improvement which is the most important thing.”
A prayer vigil for Holly has been arranged at St James Church, in Brindle, tomorrow (Thursday) from 7 to 8pm.
To donate visit: www.charitygiving.co.uk/helphollyhome