The White Island volcano in New Zealand erupted on December 9, 2019 at 14:11 local time. With the eruption of the volcano in the afternoon, a huge mushroom-like cloud of gas, steam and ash rose more than 3,600 meters. Prior to the blast, it was estimated that there were 50 people on the island. The horror of the incident sent shock waves across Australia and New Zealand. Families wanted to know as soon as possible if their loved ones survived. After the explosion, it was determined that five people had died, according to the first estimate, then the balance sheet became worse. The eruption, which killed 22 people and seriously injured 25, was the deadliest volcanic eruption in New Zealand since the Mount Tarawera eruption in 1886. Twenty-five people have been rescued from the island. Some of them had severe burns on their bodies. One of the survivors was Stephanie Broitt.
Eighty percent of his body was burned
Stephanie Brovitt, a survivor of the White Island volcano, removed the compression bandage on her face for the first time after 70 percent of her body was burned, giving a picture showing the full severity of her injuries that had never been seen before.
Was traveling with his sister and father
Stephanie was traveling to New Zealand Island with her 21-year-old sister Crystal and father Paul when the volcano erupted off the coast of Hokatan on December 9, 2019. Her sister and father were among 22 people killed in the eruption. Stephanie was in a coma for two weeks. Most of his body struggled for life with third-degree burns.
After the first two and a half years
Stephanie was a guest on the Sunday TV show 60 Minutes. The 26-year-old girl showed her face for the first time in two and a half years. Later, looking in the mirror, the young woman said that she had “seen someone who lived a much longer life than she expected”.
“Stronger than I thought,” Stephanie said. I think I have learned that the struggle for survival is a real thing. I was fighting every day for survival, just to get back to myself. I didn’t know I had it. That power. “
The family living in Melbourne, Australia went on a day trip to the volcano as part of an event organized by the Cruise Company. The family, who went on the cruise as part of the Royal Caribbean Cruise, were probably having the best days of their lives. Stephanie’s mother, Marie, her two daughters, and her husband decided to stay on the ship to explore.
But as they were leaving the hole, they saw black smoke rising from its center. “Just a few seconds later, we heard the tour guide shout ‘Run,'” said Stephanie. As they started running at that moment, Stephanie recalled the nightmare moments: “It was coming from behind and as we approached we heard all the rocks. The sound of rocks hitting the ground and their screams …”
“I didn’t think I’d survive … I thought I’d die,” said Stephanie, who was stranded on the island for hours before rescuing her and her father by airlift to an Australian hospital.
Stephanie’s 21-year-old sister did not survive on Crystal Island, and her body was recovered just days later, during a rescue operation. Their father, Paul, died of his injuries a month after the explosion.
On a TV show aired yesterday, Stephanie shared photos of her horrific injury, which she spent six months in hospital, where she underwent fatal surgery, including amputation of her finger. The horrific footage showed injuries to his head, back, arms, torso and legs and burns that required multiple skin transplants.
Despite the incredible physical pain she endured, the most painful part of Stephanie’s ordeal was learning to live without her father and sister. “I hope my father and sister were still alive and with me,” the young woman said in an emotional speech. He said that he did not let that day go, he still woke up with a nightmare and what he felt could not get out of his mind.
Describing her recovery as “extraordinary”, Stephanie said she had been hospitalized since day one and was indebted to her mother, Mary, for her recovery.
Talking about her mother, Stephanie said, “Although my wounds are visible, she has her own invisible wounds. But I know she always puts me first in her life.” Stephanie and Mary are in the process of suing the Royal Caribbean for their physical and mental injuries. The couple’s lawyer, Peter Gordon, said the volcano had been “for weeks” that it was a time bomb, based on a seismic activity report submitted to the cruise company. “They’ve disappointed a lot of people … so many people have died unnecessarily,” the lawyer said, adding that he had never seen a worse wound than Stephanie’s.
Stephanie now looks to the future with hope. She hopes to return to full-time work and resume her social life and, if possible, to ‘return to a normal life’ by traveling. He recently celebrated his 26th birthday with his friends and got his driving license back. It gave him a sense of freedom and hope for a normal life.
Since the tragedy, Stephanie has shared her extraordinary healing journey with more than 1.5 million TikTok and 102,000 Instagram followers to support those who have been burned like her.
White Island, also known as Whakaari, is one of the most active volcanoes in New Zealand. The volcano, which last erupted in 2001 before 2019, has eased very little lava since 2011, but thousands of tourists visit the privately owned island each year. A day trip to White Island brought in more than $ 4 million a year, but the island is now deserted and ash. To many, it is just a reminder of their disaster.