A Whakaari/White Island tour guide caught in the famous eruption last year after being discharged from hospital after three months.
Jake Milbank of Whakatane suffered burns to 80% of his body when the volcano erupted on December 9, killing 21 people.
The 19-year-old was on the island doing a tour for White Island Tours and was among those rescued from the island by the White Island Tours boat skippered by Paul Kingi.
He has since been in Middlemore Hospital, but on Wednesday he shared an Instagram post saying he was discharged on the day of his release.
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He said the first thing he did was go see his dog.
“It’s so great to be back in the real world breathing some fresh air. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped me get to this point, I couldn’t have done it. do without you all,” Milbank wrote.
Inasmuch asIn an update on his Givealittle page, Milbank said the past 94 days have been the hardest days of his life.
“Each of them, I got stronger and stronger.”
He has made 23 trips to the theater and recently said he started having his dressings changed in his own room in the burn unit.
“I am now fully transplanted, which means my physiotherapy regimen has become increasingly intense as my skin grafts heal.
“From walking on the treadmill to pumping the iron, a 1kg weight in each hand, we see improvements every day.”
He was finally starting to put on weight and Milbank said he had put on three pounds in the past three weeks.
“My friends have been so awesome, driving almost eight hours round trip from Whakatane to see me almost every weekend.
“I also had several visits from my colleagues at White Island Tours which was great.”
His family had kept him company and brought him home cooked meals and he said he couldn’t express how amazing they had been.
“I look forward to spending more time out of the hospital and eventually being home with my friends and family.
“At this stage we don’t know exactly when that might happen, which means that for now my main focus is on hitting the gym with my rehab team.”
Milbank, who was initially in a special pressure-controlled, temperature-controlled pod while undergoing treatment for burns, left the intensive care unit at Middlemore Hospital for the National Burns Center in January.