Last Givealittle Update (from Kelsey)10 December 2020
As the title suggests, this will be my last update via this Givealittle page, and it’s going to be short due to todays brain power and because I wanted to send you one last message before it closed down. I have only kept it open this long as a means to update you all on how I’ve been getting on, as it was the least I could do given your incredibly generous donations towards my recovery and future.
Despite the state of the world right now with Covid, some of you are still donating. And that blows my mind.
Yesterday was the 1-year anniversary of the Whakaari/White Island eruption, and I cried until I gave myself a headache. Despite the overwhelming sadness and loss, my day was also filled with happy memories, laughter and so much love.
I spent the morning at Tarawera Falls, after the dawn karakia, with a rowdy bunch of boat crew, before having a quick lunch, and then headed over to the beach, to a bench-seat put in by Hayden’s brother and father. At 14:11, I stood at the waters edge and looked out to where Whakaari lurked behind the muggy-haze, wrapped in the arms of my partner, and surrounded by more love than a girl knows what to do with.
My physical recovery continues to go well, though, there are definitely a couple of touch-ups I would like done at my next check up in Waikato Hospital next year. Nothing major, and nothing that can’t wait.
On behalf of my family and I, I would like to thank you for your ongoing love and support. You gave us SO many laughs and tears with your messages and memories of me. I’ll never forget when I was first told about this page, and being shown the quantity raised a mere three-ish-weeks after the eruption - I cried when I read $9,000, and cried even harder when I was told “no - not $9,400… $94,000!!”
As I mentioned in another post, I will continue my recovery updates through my instagram page (@kezzelsify), for those of you who would like to keep updated.
But other than that, thank you, thank you, thank you.
And a little note of thanks from my mum, dad, sister and awesome partner:
'From day-1 we have been overwhelmed with your incredibly generous donations and heartfelt messages of love, support and encouragement. You have all managed to put a smile on our faces in the most trying of times, and for that we thank every single one of you.
We are very aware that this past year has been painfully challenging for so many. Our hearts have broken for all of the other families who have lost love ones and those who have also endured agonising recoveries.
To the first responders, the local helicopter pilots, hospital staff at Whakatane Hospital, Hutt Valley ICU and Burns Unit and Waikato Burns & Plastics Units, St Johns, the NZ Airforce Medics and all of Kels therapists, friends and supporters - a massive thank you. We are in awe of your bravery, dedication, love and support. You have saved our girls life - and for that we are forever thankful.
We are beyond grateful to have our gorgeous girl here with us and will continue to help her live her very best life in honour of everyone there and involved that day.'
With love and so much thanks,
Shelley, Graham, Holly & Tom x
Way to go girl, I wish I could have donated more!
If you are ever down Dunedin way look me up and I'll arrange for a visit to the Dunedin Wildlife Hospital for you. (Apart from being a Dunedin city councillor, I also chair the Dunedin Wildlife Hospital Trust Board..)
You look gorgeous! I watched the documentary about all the special people who assisted at Whakaari Island. I cried all the way through. Thank you for your incredible bravery. I will miss your updates! The day of the eruption will forever be etched in our minds. I'm glad we were able to get real insights of what happened that day!
Your family sound amazing! Have a great Christmas with your friends and family.
I'm not on 'the gram' so I won't be getting updates any longer on your progress. Thanks for the deeply personal insight you've given us into this event that caused so much grief for many and for taking us along for your recovery journey. Now you know what you're really made of & you've made total strangers like myself very proud. Go well in your life.
Love Kelly - Whangarei Heads,
Thank you Kelsey, for your bravery and honesty. I'm a teacher who works specifically with young people experiencing physical and/or mental illness, as well as trauma. Sometimes, their stories can break my heart, however, I am a true believer in the power that hope can bring, particularly during times of sorrow. Your story is undoubetdly an example of this and I will continue to share it with the young people I work with. Take care Kelsey. Wishing you and your whanau a festive season filled with great love and laughter!