White Island volcano survivor shares harrowing recovery


White Island volcano survivor Stephanie Browitt has shared harrowing details of another milestone in her recovery.

The Craigieburn woman has described the agonising cycle of receiving skin grafts on her legs and having to learn to walk all over again, on social media.

The 23-year-old suffered third-degree burns to 70 per cent of her body when the White Island volcano erupted on December 9 last year, in a tragedy that killed her father and sister.

Ms Browitt, who has undergone a series of skin grafts, said her legs were the last part of her body to undergo the painful treatment.

"My legs needed multiple surgeries before they were fully covered, so I'd be up and walking (sort of) and then I'd need another surgery and I'd be set back all over again. It was really upsetting," she said.

"Let me tell you, the donor sites are the most painful things I've ever experienced."

Ms Browitt goes on to describe how an agonising physio session in February, which left her in tears, became bittersweet as she found the strength to walk several painful steps with the encouragement of one of her favourite nurses.

"Honestly when I think of this moment it makes me laugh so much, but it also taught me something," she said.

"You can do anything as long as you don't tell yourself the opposite."

"I didn't want to do physio because it was so painful … but when they came around I never said no."



Originally published as White Island volcano survivor shares harrowing recovery details