Brave White Island volcano eruption survivor shares three very candid photographs to show how her horrifically burned legs are healing

  • Stephanie Browitt suffered burns to 70 per cent of body in White Island eruption 
  • The 24-year-old uploaded a recovery sequence of her legs recovery from burns 
  • She is among 26 survivors of the blast and wears a face mask to protect her skin
  • Her sister Krystal and father Paul died in the horrific explosion in December 2019

A White Island eruption survivor has shown off her incredible recovery from horrifically burned legs after the devastating volcano blast.

Stephanie Browitt suffered burns to 70 per cent of her body and needed her fingers amputated after being caught in the horror eruption near Whakatane, New Zealand, last December.

47 people were trapped on the island when the volcano blew, sending ash, rocks, debris and 300C steam into the air at more than 100 metres per second.

The 24-year-old is among 26 survivors of the blast and now wears a full face mask to protect her healing skin.

Stephanie Browitt (pictured) suffered burns to 70 per cent of her body in White Island eruption

Ms Browitt is among 26 survivors of the blast and now wears a face mask to protect her skin

Ms Browitt took to Instagram on Tuesday to show how well her legs have recovered from her burns treatment.

She uploaded three pictures of her legs dating back to April 27, highlighting the incredible transformation her body has gone through in her healing. 

‘My skin colour is improving amazingly and it’s so exciting to see,’ Ms Browitt posted.

‘I’m also starting to find areas of my legs that have returned back to being soft and supple like skin should feel.

‘Any sight of improvement is always a great boost of motivation for me to keep going and to stay strong and hopeful.

‘I know that this journey has definitely made feel so grateful towards my body and what it can do.

Ms Browitt took to Instagram to show a recovery sequence of her legs from the burns. Photo from 27 April

Ms Browitt’s skin colour on her legs is shown returning to form in a picture dated 15 July

‘My skin colour is improving AMAZINGLY and it’s so exciting to see,’ Ms Browitt posted with this pictured dated 8 September

‘The human body is just amazing. We should definitely feel thankful towards our bodies and what they can endure for us.’ 

Ms Browitt spent seven months recovering in hospital after the eruption.

Her 21-year-old sister Krystal and father Paul were among 16 Australians who died in the blast.

When first responders arrived on the scene after the explosion, Mr Browitt urged them to save his girls before coming back for him.

Krystal was killed in the initial blast, while Mr Browitt died later in hospital.

Ms Browitt has previously said despite the time that passed, she remembers the eruption like it was ‘just yesterday’.

‘Honestly, every time it’s the ninth of each month I can feel my heart racing and my body tense as the memory of it floods back in my mind,’ Ms Browitt wrote on Instagram.

 The White Island volcano erupted on December 9 2019, with 47 people trapped on the island leaving 21 dead

‘I get anxious. I hate it so much, it does not get easier. It just hurts more and more when I think about how much time has passed since I was last with my dad and sister.’

Ms Browitt said she keeps wishing she could turn back time and at least have looked for her sister and father and sat with them during the aftermath.

‘We’re just picking up the pieces of our new lives and doing the best that we can do,’ she said.

‘I just want to thank everyone for your kindness, compassion and constant support. You guys manage to put a smile on my face, even if just for a second.’

Ms Browitt’s (pictured) sister Krystal and father Paul died in the horrific eruption in December 2019

Before the tragedy more than 18,000 tourists would visit the White Island volcano each year.

Six days before the eruption, on December 3 2019, volcanologists raised the alert level of White Island to level two, which is the most dangerous level a volcano can be classified as without erupting.

This was due to an increase in tremor levels, gas and unrest at the site.

A similar eruption occurred at White Island in 2016, but it was at night and no one was there. 

Australian victims in White Island tragedy: The dead and injured

24 Australians were among 47 tourists on New Zealand’s White Island when it erupted.   


Julie Richards, 47, and her daughter Jessica, 20, from Brisbane.

Julie Richards, 47, and her daughter Jessica, 20, (pictured) from Brisbane are among the dead

Martin Hollander and his wife Barbara

Martin Berend Hollander, 48, from Sydney.

His two sons Berend, 16, and Matthew, 13, who attended Sydney’s Knox Grammar, both died in hospital after suffering serious injuries in the blast.  

According to his Linkedin profile, Mr Hollander works at Transport for NSW as a freight initiatives manager.

He is also a director at a Singaporean investment management firm, Wipunen Incrementum Capital.

He was on a family holiday with his wife, who remains unaccounted for, and two kids, who were confirmed dead on Thursday. 

Martin Berend Hollander, 48, from Sydney, was formally identified on Monday. His wife Barbara (left) is yet to be formally identified 

Gavin Dallow, 53, and stepdaughter Zoe Hosking, 15, from Adelaide 

The Hosking/Dallow family had been on a tour at the time of the eruption. Mum Lisa Dallow is among the injured in hospital. Her husband Gavin (right) 53, and 15-year-old daughter Zoe, from Adelaide, (left) were confirmed dead on Wednesday 

Mr Dallow’s body was identified by police from the five bodies recovered from the island. Zoe was formally identified as a victim on Sunday. 

Karla Mathews, 32, and Richard Elzer, 32, from Coffs Harbour, NSW 

Karla Mathews (left), 32, is dead as is boyfriend Richard Elzer (right), 32, from Coffs Harbour

The couple were identified as those tourists still on the island and therefore presumed dead by their families.

Jason Griffiths, 33, Coffs Harbour, NSW  

Jason Griffiths, 33, from Coffs Harbour was taken to hospital in critical condition but died from his injuries on Wednesday 

Jason Griffiths, 33, from Coffs Harbour, NSW, died from his injuries after being taken to hospital in critical condition.  

He had been on a tour of the volcano with couple Karla Mathews, 32, and Richard Elzer, 32, who are now presumed dead, friends said.  

Matthew (Year 8) and Berend Hollander (Year 10) from Sydney

Matthew (left, year eight) and Berend (right, year 10) Hollander were confirmed dead on Thursday morning

Knox Grammar schoolboy brothers Matthew, 13, and Berend, 16, Hollander.

They died in two New Zealand hospitals after escaping the island with horrific burns. 

Their father Martin was confirmed dead.

Krystal Browitt, 21, from Melbourne, and her father Paul

Krystal Browitt was on the cruise for her 21st birthday with family

Ms Browitt was on the Ovation of the Seas cruise for her 21st birthday with family.

Mr Browitt died on 13 January in hospital.

Their mother Marie escaped death by staying on the cruise liner. 

Anthony Langford, 51, and his wife Kristine Langford, 45, from Sydney 

Anthony Langford, 51, (pictured with wife Kristine) had been among those still unaccounted for in the disaster. He was confirmed dead by police on Sunday 

Kristine Langford, 45, from Sydney, is also among those dead. 

The couple’s 19-year-old son Jesse survived the volcano eruption, and is recovering in hospital with burns to 90 per cent of his body.   

Mr Langford worked for Sydney Water. 

Winona Langford, 17, Sydney   

Police said Winona Lanford (pictured centre back row between her parents Anthony and Kristine) was one of the missing bodies still on White Island. She is not thought to have survived 

NZ Police said one of the bodies still missing on White Island belonged to 17-year-old Winona Langford from Sydney. 

Winona’s mother and father have been confirmed dead.

Her body is either entombed on the deadly volcano island or is in the sea.  


Lisa Dallow, 49, from Adelaide

Lisa Dallow (right with her husband Gavin who is missing), 49, from Adelaide

She was an induced coma in Hamilton Hospital, with 57 per cent of her body burnt.

Jesse Langford, 19, Sydney

Found: Jesse Langford (pictured with Michelle Spring, believed to be his girlfriend) is in hospital but his condition is not clear

He is reported to have suffered burns to 90 per cent of his body.


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