White Island volcano eruption survivor learns to walk again after suffering excruciating burns

A White Island tour guide who survived the deadly volcano eruption with burns to 45 per cent of her body has learnt to walk again.

Kelsey Waghorn, who had worked for White Island Tours for five years, was leading a group of tourists when the volcano erupted off the coast of Whakatane in New Zealand on December 9.

The marine biologist continues to face a gruelling road to recovery, and has had to teach herself how to walk.

Ms Waghorn, who shared a video of trudging with a walking frame, said she ‘almost scoffed’ when her doctors told her hard it would be for her to walk again.

Kelsey Waghorn (pictured), who had worked for White Island Tours for five years, was leading a group of tourists when the volcano erupted on December 9

‘I’ve been walking 20 something years, thank you, my body and I have got this,’ Ms Waghorn thought of her recovery. 

‘We might be weak and small at the moment, but once that strength comes back, no ‘learning’ will be required.’ 

But Ms Waghorn admitted she was ‘wrong’ and she had to remind herself to ‘lift and bend knee, shift weight forward, lift toes, place heel, place toes’. 

The 25-year-old wrote: ‘If you’ve had skin grafts to your extremities (or even if you’ve been in bed 20 something days), when your blood vessels all of a sudden have to increase that blood pressure as you go from horizontal to (semi)vertical, they don’t tend to keep up initially.’

Ms Waghorn, who spent 10 days in ICU and has undergone more than a dozen surgeries, continues to share recovery updates to her Instagram account. 

‘Thank you to everyone who has reached out or helped my family since December 9th,’ she wrote in her first Instagram post following the tragedy.

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