GIVE A LITTLE
White Island tour guide Kelsey Waghorn marks three months since the eruption.
A tour guide who was in Whakaari/White Island when the volcano erupted said the past three months have been the most difficult of her life.
Kelsey Waghorn suffered full-thickness burns to 45% of her body after the December 9 eruption.
She is now sharing her recovery online and in a recent post she said that during the tough months she learned how stubborn, strong and willful her mind and body were.
“Of course, there were many times when neither was of the above, but there were times.”
The past three months have been the longest Waghorn has been on land in five years and he misses the salty air and the thrill of spotting sea life.
Today it’s been three months that my life has been turned upside down. It has been the most difficult three months of my life, but I have learned how stubborn, strong and willful my mind and body are. Sure, there were plenty of times when neither of the above, but there were times. Not days. Not weeks. For that, I am grateful. I have been showered with love – from family, friends, strangers and other burn survivors, who have reached out to me to share their stories, offer support and advice. Your kind words mean everything to me. I am absolutely humble. Today marks the longest time I have been on earth in five years. I miss the salt air, the thrill of spotting sea life, those days when the sea is like glass (and those days when the horizon doesn’t exist 🌊), trying to comb my hair after a swim, and even stare in awe into Whakaari’s belly. Today marks three months since I lost a good friend, a colleague, and many others lost loved ones. It will stay with me forever. December 9 feels like three seconds ago, and three years ago. I’m still getting into it. #whakaari #whiteislanderuption
In her message, she also paid tribute to her friend and colleague Hayden-Marshall Inman, one of the 21 people killed in the eruption and one of two whose bodies were never found.
“Today marks three months since I lost a good friend, colleague and many others lost loved ones.
“It will stay with me forever.
On the afternoon of Monday, December 9, 2019, Whakaari White Island erupted while tours were in progress, killing 22 people and injuring 25.
“December 9 feels like three seconds and three years ago.
“I’m still scratching my head.”
She said she never imagined Inman would be one of those who failed to leave the island.
“Take care of those who enter Whakaari as you have taught so many of us to do.
Photos documenting his recovery show how his hands and legs were recovering from burns.
With her hands becoming less “crazyly sensitive”, it meant she could get back to the important stuff – like petting the dogs.
More than $114,000 has now been donated for his recovery on a Givealittle page created after the eruption.