White Island volcano survivor Stephanie Browitt reveals the next step in her recovery


Inspirational White Island survivor who suffered horror burns to 70 per cent of her body reveals the ‘scary’ next step in her recovery

  • Stephanie Browitt survived the White Island volcano disaster in 2019  
  • She has been bravely sharing her lengthy recovery process on social media 
  • Her sister Krystal, 21, and her father Paul were tragically killed in the blast  
  • The 25-year-old she will soon no longer need any compression garments 

A White Island volcano survivor who lost her sister and father in the tragedy and suffered burns to 70 per cent of her body will soon be able to remove her facial compression garments.

Stephanie Browitt, 25, said the bandages on her face were in particular ‘extremely uncomfortable to wear’ and was looking forward to being able to remove them for the first time since the incident more than two years ago.

She was one of 47 people on a day trip to White Island when the volcano off the coast of Whakatane on New Zealand’s North Island erupted on December 9, 2019.

‘I am, of course, excited and thrilled, but equally as nervous… I’m sure I’ll feel quite vulnerable at the beginning,’ Ms Browitt said on Instagram where she has candidly shared updates on her recovery. 

Stephanie Browitt (pictured), 25, has been sharing her recovery online after suffering through the White Island volcano blast in 2019 

Ms Browitt said she will soon no longer need compression bandages

She also said her hands have improved immensely thanks to operations and therapy

Ms Browitt revealed she will soon no longer need compression bandages (left) and that her hands have improved to the point she feels ‘capable’ again (right)

Ms Browitt (pictured with her family) was the only member of the family to stay on the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship when the tragedy struck

Ms Browitt (pictured with her family) was the only member of the family to stay on the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship when the tragedy struck

Two-and-a-half years on from the eruption, Ms Browitt said she already no longer needs the body compression garment.    

‘I am now down to just the face garment and right glove, as that hand had surgery not to long ago,’ she said.

‘I’m so happy with where I am right now and cannot wait to share the next big milestone.’

Her mother Marie Browitt told The Herald Sun her face ‘unveiling’ would happen in the next few weeks but would likely be ‘petrifying’ for her daughter, with Marie fearing she may be given ‘nasty comments’ by strangers. 

Ms Browitt has been posting snaps at the gym and around her home city of Melbourne while she enjoys her increased freedom of movement from not wearing the pressure suit. 

Also helping is the fact that after ‘three surgeries and years worth of hand therapy’ Ms Browitt said her hands have improved to the point where she can once again do many tasks on her own. 

‘The difference my range of motion has made in my everyday life is immense… I no longer feel like a burden.’ 

‘Although the use of my hands will never be what it once was and I will always miss that and have bad days, I once again feel like a capable woman.’

Ms Browitt has been hitting the gym recently as part of her recovery (pictured)

Ms Browitt has been hitting the gym recently as part of her recovery (pictured) 

The 25-year-old (pictured) had been on a trip to the island from the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship

The 25-year-old (pictured) had been on a trip to the island from the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship

Stephanie Browitt, 25, (pictured) was with her sister Krystal, 21, and their father Paul when a volcano erupted off the coast of Whakatane in New Zealand in December 2019

Ms Browitt was visiting the island with her father and sister when the volcano erupted

While Ms Browitt was visiting White Island, her mother Marie stayed behind on the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship and watched on helplessly as the volcano erupted. 

There were 21 people killed in the blast including Ms Browitt’s father Paul and sister Krystal, 21. 

She has since bravely shared her recovery online and become an advocate for burns survivors. 

She recently shared a tribute to her 'hero' her mother who has supported her throughout her ordeal (pictured together)

She recently shared a tribute to her ‘hero’ her mother who has supported her throughout her ordeal (pictured together)

Her mother has been supporting her throughout her recovery, with Ms Browitt posting a touching tribute to her last month.

‘She stayed by my side every single day, she cried when I cried and helped me through the pain. I love you mum,’ the young woman wrote alongside pictures of the pair.

‘But mostly to the person who was by my side for all of it…,’ she wrote. ‘Some people are lucky enough to have a best friend, I am even luckier, I have my mum.’ 

Stephanie Browitt (left) lost her sister Krystal (right) and her father Paul in the White Island volcano tragedy two years ago

Stephanie Browitt (left) lost her sister Krystal (right) and her father Paul in the White Island volcano tragedy two years ago

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