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Please Support Kelsey's Recovery Journey from White Island Eruption

  • Last Givealittle Update (from Kelsey)

      10 December 2020
    Posted by: Rochelle (Shelley) Waghorn
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    Hello, everyone.

    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

      4 comments  |  Login to leave a comment
    • 11/12/2020 by Steve Walker

      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..)

      Take care.

    • 11/12/2020 by Janet

      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.


    • 11/12/2020 by Weed Action Native Habitat Restoration Trust

      Hey Kelsey,

      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,

    • 12/12/2020 by Vanessa

      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!

  • The Good, Bad & Ugly (an update from Kelsey)

      24 November 2020
    Posted by: Rochelle (Shelley) Waghorn
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    I have been so overwhelmed this week.

    Both our fridge and dishwasher crapped out. Both of our dogs ended up with damaged paws - and one ended up with a cone and a decent vet bill). The first anniversary of the eruption is coming up. Christmas is coming up. Money is tiiight thanks to “spend-the-pain-away-Kelsey” (but how good do these candles smell, and this duvet look..?)

    Most importantly though, after my interview aired last night, I have been absolutely inundated with love and support.

    I know I say it a lot, but thank you so much to all of you who send me words of encouragement, a hug for my mum, wine, boots for the dogs, your own stories, thoughts, love, strawberries - the list is endless.

    Though my days can be tough, I know you’re all here for me - through the good, bad and ugly 🤍

      7 comments  |  Login to leave a comment
    • 25/11/2020 by Janet

      Oh my frickin god the documentary was amazing, so amazing, it should get an award. It was raw and it gave such an insight into what really happened. The pictures, the footage was superb. And you and Jake were wonderful. It was great to hear what you guys had to say. I recorded it and I can't delete it. I cried pretty much throughout. It is a huge part of our history in New Zealand. Your mum was gorgeous, when she spoke I couldn't bear to see her pain. Anyway amazing families, amazing support, amazing, amazing! I will miss not hearing from you!

    • 25/11/2020 by maree

      Hi Kelsey

      You are just so strong and courageous and I love reading your updates. Could you please tell me what the documentary was aired as I must have missed it and would so like to watch xxooxxoo

    • 25/11/2020 by Tersia

      Dear Kelsey,

      Thank you for all the regular updates and for making us all part of your life this past year. We have followed your progress every step of the way, encouraging you from afar (you can do it girl!).

      You and Hayden were our guides 2 years plus ago on our unforgettable trip to Whakaari, and we remember you both so well.

      Apart from that, I have another tie with Whakaari as the 9th Dec is my birthday. I returned from a trip from South Africa last year on that date and of course read with shock about the eruption early that morning (SA time). I knew then that my special birthday date will forever be linked to the Whakaari eruption of 9 Dec 2019.

      So as I celebrate my 65th birthday in 2 weeks' time, know that my thoughts and prayers will also be with you and everyone involved on that day and since.

      Your progress has been remarkable and even though we do not see the tough parts you went through, we see the strong young woman who have fought and won. Every person who have ever gone through a tough medical and health period have a small understanding of your fight. I am one of them. Well done and may your future be more blessed than you could ever imagine and plan for yourself.

      With warm regards,

      Tersia (and my hubby Alan)

      Merry Christmas my dear Kelsey and heaps of best wishes for 2021 xx

      (Wed 25/11/2020)

    • 25/11/2020 by Kirstie

      Hey Kelsey.... Keep it all in perspective! Everything is going to seem so overwhelming as the anniversary gets ever closer, but the fridge, dishwasher, & dogs sound like one of those normal phases in life when extra challenges seem to happen in sets of three. You'll get through this and the dark days ahead. Be kind to yourself, get plenty of fresh air, and keep placing one foot in front of the other... you are getting (slowly, but surely) where you need to go. Sending love, Kirstie

    • 26/11/2020 by janette

      You are an amazing inspiration to all.:)

    • 28/11/2020 by Vanessa

      Thinking of you as the anniversary approaches. Kia Kaha Kelsey. You can do this! xx

    • 08/12/2020 by Gill

      Hi Kelsey, thinking of you today.

      Love Gill

  • Surgery Update (from Kelsey)

      21 October 2020
    Posted by: Rochelle (Shelley) Waghorn
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    Hello friends 👋🏼

    As promised - here I am, updating you, after my post-op check up at Waikato Hospital yesterday.

    All good news! The surgeon was super stoked with how everything is looking and has healed. She even thanked ME, because the surgery was “so rewarding” 😂 turns out, some areas under my grafts had grown some tissue to heal themselves, so the graft could actually be taken right back - this was most notable on my left thumb. I had some other areas like this, and now there are no “pockets” or overhanging graft 🎉 I also had a bunch of small skin tags “burred” back, so now my hands are super smooth, and I don’t have to worry about catching catchy bits on anything. Yaass.

    The best news of all, though, was that she’s going to leave me alone for 6-months now. Which means no surgery or check ups over the anniversary/Christmas/New Years period. We can have the normal holiday period we missed out on last year.

    I will head back and see her in the new year, and we will discuss whether or not she will be releasing the web space between my thumb and index finger - which at the moment doesn’t bother me, but she is confident she can get full range back in that hand, not just the half-range that I have. And why not strive for the best possible outcome, right?

    It’s hard to believe that in 7-weeks it will be 1-year since Whakaari erupted and nearly claimed all of the lives that were on her at the time. To be honest, there are still days that this doesn’t seem real. How can it be?

    I’ll try to update you all on how I’m doing a couple times before this page is shut down around December 15th.

    Until next time, stay safe and be kind to one another x

      5 comments  |  Login to leave a comment
    • 22/10/2020 by Janet

      Hey, hey!

      Your hands look amazing and very young! I have old wrinkled prune hands. You sound really good and upbeat. It will be great to have a holiday and not have to think about operations.

      It will be a hard time for you in seven weeks, I'll be thinking of you.

      Today is gorgeous in Taupo. I made the best decision ever to move here three months ago. It's so friendly here and everyone is kind of in holiday mode.

      I know everyone says it, but if you're ever passing through, you and the dog and man are welcome to come up and have a coffe, or a vodka, or anything else. I've got a still so make my own!

      Will miss your updated when this page closes.

      You have made me appreciate every little thing, I have learnt from you.


    • 22/10/2020 by Carol

      Looks amazing Kelsey. So moved by each of your updates. We think about the past year such an unexpected year yet so much more so for you.

      It was such a shocking, unbelievably sad day as we watched what had happened. Thought of your battle, journey going forward.

      Your bravery incredibly surreal. You certainly are an amazing, amazing young lady. Your doctors heroes. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas. And know Happy New Year will mean so much to you. :-) So much to look forward to.

    • 22/10/2020 by RODERICK

      That really is looking really great! Take it very easy and stay close to those that love you on the anniversary. Do post a final update before the page closes, please. Have a great Christmas break, not sure how much we will be able to see of our family, Covid-19 is running away here, at least you are in a country that has it under control. Best wishes from the UK. Rod & Jane

    • 22/10/2020 by Donna

      Hi Kelsey, your hand looks wonderful, you are so brave and the past year you have had to endure so much. Keep calm and your family around you over 9th Dec 2020. We will all be thinking of you, if it wasn't for covid we would be there to help you celebrate this Christmas and your recovery. It is hard to believe almost one year has passed since that day. You have inspired so many with your story and it has been good to hear how you have been healing and getting through it all. All our Love Auntie D & Uncle D xxxx

    • 09/04/2023 by Mike

      Just watched The Volcano on Netflix. Just wanted to let you know you are an inspiration. Much like many others on that day. God bless you.

  • Post 'Touch-Up' Surgery Update (from Kelsey)

      7 October 2020
    Posted by: Rochelle (Shelley) Waghorn
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    Well, I’ve hand my hand surgery, and it sounds like it went well. For one whole week I had oven mitts for hands - funny at first when I was too sore to do anything, but the novelty wore off after a couple of days and I was unable to do pretty much anything unassisted. It was really hard to get over the mental hurdle of going from totally dependant, to free as a bird, and back to dependant again. The wheels had well and truly come off by the time I reached the one week mark.

    We went back to hospital yesterday to have my dressings/mitts removed, and that didn’t exactly go to plan - some of my dressings had dried/set into the blood and wounds, and we were told to go home and finish off the rest over a few days through soaking them and having a wee pick at them. I was really disappointed because I was expecting a grand reveal, and what I got was far from that. However, as I type this, I have managed to get over half of those dressings off, and am feeling much more comfortable both physically and mentally. Phew!

    I have another check up on the 20th, and I am pretty sure they will be booking me in to get my right hand sorted - the webspace between my thumb and index finger is half what it should be, and I cannot straighten any of the fingers on that hand - this has got worse over the last week, as I haven’t been able to properly stretch out that hand. But I’ve had worse, right?

    I will update you all after the 20th x

      8 comments  |  Login to leave a comment
    • 08/10/2020 by Les

      Kia ora Kelsey. Thanks for the update. Kia kaha, kia maia kia manawanui from us in the Mount. You are amazing how positive you remain.


      The Millard Whānau

    • 08/10/2020 by Gill

      Wow Kelsey, you are one amazing woman. Don't forget to blow off steam every now and then to help keep you sane... nothing wrong with a cry or a swearing session. Thanks for the updatexxxx

    • 08/10/2020 by sheryn

      Hi Kelsey, I do feel for you, you have been through the mill, you are young and healthy and are making wonderful progress, remember 'Rome wasn't built in a day'. and one day you will look back on all this and see just how much you have grown, you will be able to face all that life throws at you, dust your hands off and say ' well, that's that, what's next?'

      Well done

    • 08/10/2020 by Janet

      Hey there you!

      You're a bloody star!!!! And you look beautiful. Geez I feel for you, there must be times that you smile on the outside, and want to explode with frustration on the inside. Patience must be a new virtue by now! I have no patience whatsoever! I applaud you, although I know at times all this must be a pain in the butt! Keep on doing it! Ooh keep us updated on your dog, didn't she/he go away for training? Love hearing how you're going! It's been a blimmin long battle! Janet

    • 08/10/2020 by RODERICK

      Hi Kelsey,

      We follow your progress from the other side of the world with great interest and admiration. We were due to Visit White Island in February 2020 but for obvious reasons did not. We watched the unfolding events in December 2019 and looked for news on the tour guides we would have been with. Since then we have followed your and Jake's up's and downs and keep rooting for you. We did visit Whakatane in February and looked from afar on our way down to the East Cape Lighthouse. It was our third trip to New Zealand, we love the place, and we love the people, of which you are a fine and very brave example. The setbacks must be hard, but always remember there are people all over the planet cheering you on. Best wishes Rod & Jane, Surrey, UK.

    • 09/10/2020 by Vanessa

      You are a legend Kelsey! I admire your honesty through the difficult days and the good days. Keep holding onto those little rays of sunshine. Kia kaha! Vanessa

    • 09/10/2020 by Robert

      Kia Ora Kelsey.

      It's a long road, isn't it? I mean recovery and adjusting to what will be "new normal".

      But from the looks of it, you are making the absolute most of your recovery.

      If you have a one year memorial service, as with the Christchurch earthquake - which I was in - the best thing you can do is just go really gently on yourself, and maybe take your partner to the memorial for support.

      Look after yourself.

      Kia haumaru. Kia Kaha.


    • 09/10/2020 by Carol

      oh i left my comment under last update by mistake...... totally amazing young lady. Inspirational and so thinking of you and wishing all the best for ongoing surgery and recovery.

  • Surgery Date, All Blacks & Runaway Cows! (an update from Kelsey)

      22 September 2020
    Posted by: Rochelle (Shelley) Waghorn
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    Hello, it’s me again.

    I’ve had a bit of a mixed week.

    On one hand, I spent a lot of time with family and friends, I got myself a masseuse and a naturopath to push my recovery along in the best possible way for my body and mind. I also met some of the All Blacks, and here’s a picture with me and Sam Whitelock - a top-notch dude.

    On the other hand.. I cried my eyes out when the garage door jammed and I couldn’t get my car out, and I did a dumb thing and let the cows out to head to the milking shed, didn’t check the gates (always check the gates..), and the girls started making their way to the back of the farm - away from the milking shed. The only thing I could do was RUN up and over a hill to try and cut them off with the dogs and turn them around. I haven’t run in over 9-months. My heart rate got up to 190bpm, and I ended up collapsing on the hill crying and having a panic attack as Tom raced over to turn the cows around with our top cow-dog, River. A lot of consoling was required.

    Overall, though, I haven’t been feeling too bad lately.

    I finally got a date for my (hopefully) final surgery, and that’s September 28th - 6-days away! Now that I have a date, I’m starting to get nervous, despite this being one of the more minor of my surgeries. It sounds like I’ll be spending the night in hospital, but as long as I get some Duck Island Ice Cream, I’ll complain somewhat less.

    Thank you for all of your continued support. It really does mean the world to me, and I try to read all of your messages.

    I’ll keep this one short, and update you all next week with how everything goes.



      4 comments  |  Login to leave a comment
    • 22/09/2020 by Joanne

      All the very best for surgery Kelsey. Will be sending you good wishes. I hope you get lots of Duck Island ice cream! :-)

    • 22/09/2020 by Donna

      Sounded stressful with those runaway cows, anyone would have cried I think. We will be thinking of you having surgery on 28th hope its all over and done with quickly and its your last. Good luck with recovery. Lots of Love xx

    • 23/09/2020 by Janet

      Great update, pretty punchy for sure! Oh god you poor thing, the running sounds hideous! River sounds an amazing dog. She should get together with Milly my Cocker Spaniel who is just pampered and prissy and needs a job. Cool picture, you're looking great!!! Good luck with the surgery, final, that's great. Love the updates. You keep me positive. I'll google duck Island Ice Cream. Look forward to hearing about the surgery. Janet

    • 09/10/2020 by Carol

      Dearest Kelsey,

      I am so moved by your posts. Your courage during recovery is absolutely amazing. Your strength coping with really hard stuff, tenacity and ability to keep going through it all is inspiring to those of us who struggle with much less. I feel sad, gut renching, at what you have been through. Humbled by your beautiful smile in the midst of it all. Amazing example of the best of humanity.

  • Kelsey

      14 September 2020

    Kelsey has been an inspiration to us and our family, as have her partner, sister and parents! Kelsey's courage to share her progress and her journey has given insight to her incredible resolve.

    Thank you to everyone for continuing to support her and her family. You all are stars xxoo

      1 comment  |  Login to leave a comment
    • 09/04/2023 by Mike

      Just watched the documentary. Her class and bravery are to be celebrated. She is beautiful.

  • Making Good Progress (latest update written by Kelsey)

      13 September 2020
    Posted by: Rochelle (Shelley) Waghorn
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    Hello everyone!

    I hope you’re all keeping safe and well during these interesting times.

    I still haven’t heard about my surgery yet! But fingers crossed I will hear sometime this week (I’ve been saying that for the last two-weeks, but maybe it’s third time lucky 🍀 ).

    I’ve been flat-out with appointments over the last month, and I had to be remeasured up for new pressure garment gloves, sleeves and high-waisted pants. So far, the best ones to wear are the sleeves (because its winter and it helps keep my arms warm). The gloves are fine - when they fit properly and they aren’t wet! Its quite a hard feat to keep them dry and clean on a farm 🤷🏼‍♀️ The pants are the most annoying - because they have to come up so high to get the graft on my lower back and stomach, they have a tendency of rolling down and slipping down, so I’m forever having to pull them up and readjust myself. A pain, but it’s manageable and not forever.

    It was Tom’s birthday in August, and my family and I organised for him to go for a flight in a fighter jet! He had an amazing time, and the guys at Fighter Jets NZ were incredible. We also spent the night in Tauranga in a swanky hotel room right on the harbour. It was so nice to go away and have a bit of luxury for a night.

    Hopefully we’ll be back there in November for a concert which keeps getting moved because of Covid.

    We are starting to plan our future career moves, too! I won’t say too much right now because it’s still very early days and there is a lot to sort out in the next 9-months-ish. That, and I still have a surgery and a lot of recovering to do! But watch this space.

    Work is well into planning a memorial for December 9th, but because of Covid, they are having to navigate the best way to mark the ‘occasion’(?) and also keep everyone safe. It’s rather overwhelming to think that it’s almost been a year since the eruption, and I know the day will be difficult for everyone. Including me. I’m finding it really hard to put together the words I could say to my colleagues, their families, and to those passengers and their loved ones who were injured or lost loved ones on the day. Maybe there are no words. But I’ll keep trying.

    We have another busy month ahead of us, so I will update you all on how I’m going/when my next surgery is when I get a chance.

    Love, Kelsey x

      6 comments  |  Login to leave a comment
    • 13/09/2020 by Gill

      So glad that you're getting to do some normal stuff. So proud of you xxxxx

    • 14/09/2020 by Donna

      Hi Kelsey, 9 months on and you have done remarkably, it has been hard for you but your getting there.

      Your new plan and venture sounds intriguing, can't wait to hear about it, so good you are making plans forwards, onwards and upwards.

      December 9 ( a date we will never forget ) is going to be a hard one but I know you will find the right words,

      you a very eloquent. Looking forward to that book one day. Good luck with upcoming surgery, lets hope that's the last. Thankyou for the update. Much Love & hugs Auntie Donna xxx

    • 14/09/2020 by Adrienne

      Kia kaha Kelsey - thanks for sharing yourself with the world (and the Browne whanau).

    • 15/09/2020 by Janet

      Hi there Kelsey!

      Thanks for giving us updates. I get shivers up and down my spine reading about what you're up to. You make me feel very humble and I stop moaning about tiny things in my life that just aren't important. You are very inspirational.

      Your life is moving forward, which is amazing. I love all the things that are happening.

      And I have to say right from the beginning when I saw your photo, I just loved your hair and I think the photo you've put up is amazing. Gorgeous hair!


    • 15/09/2020 by Kirstie

      Hey Kelsey,

      You have been, are, and will always be a shining light with your determination and honest openness about this journey of recovery, insight, and exploration you are on. You not only share the story of what you are experiencing, but you include those who are also a part of your story & are there to support you each day. Your updates on Givalittle and Instagram help remind us the importance of learning from what's behind us, accepting the love of others, and keeping our prow to the wind and facing forward.

      These words from the opening of a Railroad Earth song (Walk Beside Me) make me think of you, "Put one foot in front of the other; Stepping in through the here and now; I don't know just where we're going; But I'm gonna get there anyhow."

      Thinking of you & sending love, Kirstie

    • 17/09/2020 by Vanessa

      Thanks for having the courage to continue sharing your journey with us all Kelsey. I'll cross all fingers and toes for your upcoming surgery. Arohanui, Vanessa.

  • Kelsey's July Update

      1 August 2020
    Posted by: Rochelle (Shelley) Waghorn
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    Hey guys,

    Sorry I’m a bit late with a July update - it’s been a busy busy month.

    You may have seen on the news that I went away on a “volcanic getaway” (hahaha...) to Ohakune with a group of friends. I’d had huge anxiety about going away leading up to it - not just being at the base of three live volcanos, but also because I’d had several flashbacks, panic attacks, and my mood is less than unpredictable. I was so worried I’d have a bad spell and ruin both my time away, and everyone else’s.

    Thankfully, my brain behaved itself, and I had the most wonderful and relaxing four days I’d had in months. It was so nice to feel like the old me for awhile.

    We had a really difficult two weeks once we got back from our holiday, with a death in Tom’s family, calving starting on the farm, some blank spots were filled in for me by the police about what happened on Whakaari once I’d left after the eruption on our “rescue vessel” and everything that happened and didn’t happen afterwards.

    On top of all of this, I made the difficult decision to send my dog, River, away for some additional training that I have been unable to give him myself since the eruption. I miss him so much, but only 7-sleeps until he’s home now!

    I had another check up at Waikato Hospital on the 28th, too. They’re still super happy with how all of my grafts are looking (thanks Hutt burns/plastic surgeons!), but I will be returning to the operating theatre in the next few months to have some minor graft breakdowns on my hands sorted - and an imbedded dressing removed from my upper arm!

    I brought myself a weighted blanket this week with the donations you have all so generously put towards my recovery. They’re designed to help alleviate anxiety, improve sleep, calm the nervous system and help with PTSD. So far, I absolutely love it (I’m wrapped up in it on the couch as I write this!)

    I think mum said that this page is due to close next month, so in case I don’t get another update in before then, I want to say how thankful I am for each and every one of you who sent me - and more so my family, so much love and kindness - especially in that first month where everything was looking pretty grim. You made us all cry (good tears) with your words, your memories of me, your gift baskets, and at the generosity you all showed us with your donations towards my ongoing recovery. You’ve kept us all going more than you will ever know.

    At this stage, I don’t have concrete plans on “where to next”, but I’ll be keeping those that are interested up to date on how I am, when my next surgery is and what I’m doing over on my Instagram page (@kezzelsify).

    Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Stay safe.

    Kelsey x

      5 comments  |  Login to leave a comment
    • 01/08/2020 by Vanessa

      Wow Kelsey... you are going from strength to strength! It really strikes me how kind and patient you are with yourself throughout your recovery. It's really admirable. Enjoy reuniting with River soon and keep curling up under that weighted blanket - they should be called healing blankets with all the warmth and comfort that they bring. Take care xx

    • 01/08/2020 by Donna

      Thanks for the

    • 02/08/2020 by Roseanne

      Hi Kelsey, thanks so much for all your updates. It is wonderful to hear you are improving. I wish you all the best. Kind regards, Rosie

    • 03/08/2020 by Gill

      Dear Kelsey, once again you demonstrate your amazing resilience. I so admire you. Thank you for all the updates that have kept us informed of your progress. I am sure that writing them must have been quite taxing.

      Condolences on the loss of Tom's relative. It has been a bad year for losing those we love.

      I wish you all the very best on you upward trajectory and a joyous reunion with River.

      Cheers Gill Molony

    • 03/08/2020 by Donna

      Hi Kelsey,

      I somehow sent the other message before finishing and couldn't remove it. Thankyou for the update, we always think of you and wonder how you are doing. it is wonderful you had time away at Ohakune, you are very brave to do that,

      A little sad your page is closing, but at least we still get to follow your recovery on Instagram.

      You will be excited to see River soon, and he will be excited to see you. Hope his training has gone well.

      Sorry to hear of a death in Toms family, condolences to Tom. Keep up the good work, rest when you need to, take care. All our Love xoxoxo

  • Hello From Kelsey!

      15 June 2020
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    Hello again,

    Another month has passed, and I’ve achieved more goals - I’ve made it safely onto and off of the ground, I’ve made myself a few cups of tea and not dropped the kettle, and I left my Whakatāne bubble for a non-hospital related reason (my first in over six months), I’ve been showering unaided and alone, I’ve been moisturising my grafts and changing my own garments (speaking of - I’m now wearing garments on my legs now, too (dubbed “my wetsuit pants”)), and I walked to the mailbox down our driveway on my own. Another big thing I achieved (albeit briefly), I was totally dressing free (I’ve opened my elbow up again).

    One piece of bad news is that my clotted jugular vein, which was first discovered in Hutt Hospital (early January), which was then discovered to have collapsed in May, is still blocked and collapsed as of an ultrasound last week. We’re still waiting to hear from the specialist about where-to-next. In the meantime, I will keep taking my blood-thinners, and try not to hold my breath when doing exercises lying down.

    Other than that, physically, I am doing really well. There isn’t a lot I have found (so far) that I can’t do, but I do fatigue quickly, and in turn, that really affects my mood. I am having a lot of days where I am tired, struggling, sad, angry, scared. But, I guess that’s just where I am with my recovery.

    I stress very easy, too, and unfortunately, it has meant I have had to cancel appointments I was looking forward to because my thoughts get on top of me, and I can’t recover from it quickly. I’ve been leaning heavily on my partner, Tom, as well as my psychologist - I certainly do not take them for granted, and they have been amazing at helping me get through my dark days.

    The six-month anniversary last week was hard, but I was able to be surrounded by my close friends from work, Hayden’s family and my family and partner.

    Tom and I have some plans on a couple of holidays over the next couple of months before things get hectic with calving and mating here on the farm, and we’re currently looking into some future plans - watch this space!

    Once again, thank you so much for your kindness, your generosity and your supportive messages you have all been sending me. They mean the world to us.



      8 comments  |  Login to leave a comment
    • 16/06/2020 by Janet

      Hi there Kelsey!

      Love the pic of you and your dog! Mine can be a big pain in my butt some of the time, but I couldn't be without her.

      Your continuing story amazes me and makes me a little humble with the small trials and tribulations in my life.

      Geez of course you wouldn't be human without all those emotions, I'd be bloody angry, and sad, and scared. You're looking good. TI'm glad you had your family and friends around you for the six month anniversary.

      Thinking of you and all you're going through!!!


    • 16/06/2020 by Deborah

      Dear Kelsey,

      I am one of your (old - 71) supporters, living in Whakatane, and I am astonished and moved everytime I read one of your updates, chiefly because you are showing us all what courage is all about -- being open and determined and yet allowing yourself to be vulnerable to the people who may not know you personally but wish you strength and optimism on your tough journey of recovery. You are an extraordinary survivor - and I'm sure you would just like to be a regular, easy-going person again rather than someone who has to face these struggles and setbacks. But what you have at the moment is an abundance of bravery and the will to heal your body. That is your gift to your family and supporters -- and it is a power that radiates outwards and gives us all a bit of courage too. Thank you for allowing us to share the moments of your journey. We are never too old to learn something about ourselves from what you tell us. -- Deborah Mainwaring

    • 16/06/2020 by Donna

      Great to read how far you have come, we know that road hasn't been an easy one. We are so proud of you and what you have and are achieving. You are a very Special K indeed.

      The down days are expected, be sad and grumpy when you need to be, rest when you need to, its all part of healing. Thankyou for update. Enjoy your getaway. Love & Hugs always. Auntie D & Uncle D. xoxoxo

    • 16/06/2020 by Carol

      Dearest Kelsey,

      Touches my heart reading how incredibly brave you are thru all this. I can't even imagine how hard this has been for you. I know how hard it can be with much smaller challenges than yours to fight tiredness, fear, sadness, regret... and it's a huge battle to get on top of. So i say with so much sincerity you've done amazing so far and will continue ... in my prayers for your daily battles, courage and the love and spirit you show so much in your mailings. Keep hanging in ...... keep breaking thru..... hugs (virtual) and blessings

    • 16/06/2020 by William

      God bless and protect and heal you “the Lord is like a father to His children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him”

    • 16/06/2020 by Robert

      Kia Ora Kelsey

      I am really pleased to see you have a four legged friend. Not sure what that dog is, but my family used to have a black labrador. Awesome pet. Crap guard dog. Our neighbours have a handsome gold labrador who is one of the loveliest dogs I've ever met.

      Your positivity is incredible given the state Whakaari left you in. I don't know if you've heard of John Denver, but he was an artist that helped me through some grim times with my blood pressure. He wrote a lovely song called "Some Days are Diamonds (Some Days are stones)", which I think you'd find really sums up how your life is going. Hopefully the stones become fewer, smaller and less obvious; the diamonds become more frequent, bigger and sparkly.

      As always, great to hear that for the most part your recovery is continuing well from day to day.

      Kia haumaru. Kia kaha.


    • 18/06/2020 by Liz

      Hi Kelsey I’ve just had the update from the New Zealand Police and Worksafe so thought I would catch up on your progress. So pleased you are doing well. It’s thanks to your clear instructions that my daughter and I survived and our recovery is going well. I’m amazed any of us survived having seen the pictures from the Police.

      I’m pleased to say we are doing well. I would have been working but for COVID-19. My burns stop below the knees so I have been able to get back to running which definitely helps the swelling go down. I managed to run (slowly) 100 miles in May including a half marathon in place of the one that should have taken place in Liverpool. I have almost a full range of movement in hands, arms & shoulders although not without pain. I’m working on trying to bend fingers on my left hand and make a fist. I can pretty well do all the things I need to at home now. Unfortunately due to lockdown all rehab has stopped and no laser treatment can take place with no idea when they will restart Hopefully your recovery will mirror mine. Best wishes to you


    • 20/06/2020 by Gill

      Kels, you little darling. Aren't you a truly amazing young woman. So proud of your achievements. Keep going and I look forward to your next update. Small bites, bit by bit... big strides xxx

  • This Months Update (by Kelsey)

      20 May 2020
    Posted by: Rochelle (Shelley) Waghorn
    Main image

    I just wanted to give you guys another update on how I’m doing.

    I had a checkup in Waikato Hospital Hospital earlier in the month, and it all went really well. I was measured up for new compression garments, and the surgeons were all really impressed with how my grafts, donor sites and scars are healing. Based on that, at this stage, I have no foreseeable surgeries - I stay at 14 trips to the operating theatre for now!

    The range of motion I have in my arms and hands is nearing full range of motion, but there is still some work to do on my knees. Given that I gave them a bit of a thrashing with my falls, they have only just managed to totally close over. Because they’ve been open for so long, and because I was so paranoid about stretching them and tearing them even more, I do not have total range of motion when bending my knees. Yet. Now that I’m all closed up, my Physio and I will be focusing on getting that bend back so I can get back to squatting in front of fires (at a safe distance) and getting down to the floor to pat my dogs without the use of a chair or box.

    I’m still learning how fragile my skin is - just today I went to take some tape off my arm and pulled off a piece of skin.

    Mentally, I have my days. Some days I am good and everything feels easy. And then some days, I wake up stressed and panicked for no reason - everything becomes hard, and I cry. A lot. But, I’m working on it, and trying not to call myself too many unkind names. I know my body and mind are doing their best under incredibly trying circumstances, but some days are just a lot to take on.

    I’m trying to look ahead, past all of the rehab and appointments, to what I could do in the future. I haven’t got there yet, but its early days.

    I can’t believe that even in the midst of a global pandemic and economic uncertainty for SO many people, you guys are still “giving a little” to put towards my recovery/future. Nothing has humbled me more, or made me realise that the world is actually full of so many good people.

    I am lucky for so many reasons, and your help is making my future ever brighter.



      5 comments  |  Login to leave a comment
    • 21/05/2020 by Janet

      Hey there Kelsey!

      Another honest update from you, love catching up with what you're up to. I bet your dogs are great, couldn't be without mine! The legs look a bit like a tattoo, and in a way it is!

      Yes definitely be kind to yourself, hell you've gone through some crap times! Nothing wrong with me, but I have many days of crying for no reason!!!!

      Glad we're at level two, you must be as well. Even if I don't go out shopping, at least I know I can.

      Again thanks for the update, you inspire me!!


    • 21/05/2020 by Weed Action Native Habitat Restoration Trust

      Great to hear your update, thank you. We're here reading along and sending you positive vibes for your recovery. Seems like you've got a balanced and rational attitude regarding progress, you've got this!

    • 21/05/2020 by Donna

      Thankyou for the update lovely Kelsey, not a day goes by and we don't think of you. Of course you should cry, and only natural you have those panic days, we all do at times, but you have gone through something we will never comprehend, so you have permission to cry and feel the way you do. Kind self talk is something to work on for sure. You are a wonderful little lady and you are admired so much for your beauty and your strength, your caring and kind ways and you are doing the best you can do in these hard times.

      Happy no more surgery in the foreseeable future, I think you have done your dash with 14 trips to surgery, and here you are, on your recovery journey, we are proud of you.

      We all love you and pray for your recovery each and every day, can't wait to see you again.

      Love & Hugs always Auntie D & Uncle D xoxoxoxoxo

    • 23/05/2020 by tristan

      Hi there again Kelsey,

      We've been following your recovery and batting in your team. You are so brave and set an amazing example for how to deal with difficulty. It will be an ongoing journey mentally, I've seen it with my sister who survived the chch ctv collapse. She gets through it everytime though with family and close friend support. The tough times mentally have always passed for her, just thought that might help you with your journey. Thanks for sharing your story. Blessings to you and your family

    • 27/05/2020 by Vanessa

      You're amazing Kelsey. Keep being kind to yourself. xx

  • Today I turn 26. (A post by Kelsey)

      12 April 2020
    Posted by: Rochelle (Shelley) Waghorn
    Main image

    Somehow, I’ve made it to 26.

    I’ve survived a boat fire, a near-miss car crash, a volcanic eruption, 45% full-thickness burns, fourteen trips to theatre, and so far, a global pandemic.

    My body has a million scrapes, scars and burns, which I’m learning to love everyday.

    My mind and soul are still catching up and trying to accept what has happened over the last four years. For some reason, it’s started to catch up today.

    But I’m here, and that’s all that matters.

    I’m so proud of how far I’ve come, how resilient my body is, and I couldn’t be more thankful for all the love and light I have in my life. Even if I can’t be with them all today.

    Happy birthday to me, and here’s to a slightly quieter next four years 🥳

    Thanks again for all of your support and messages. I appreciate each and every one of them.

    If you want to see more of my recovery journey you can follow me on Instagram @kezzelsify

      7 comments  |  Login to leave a comment
    • 12/04/2020 by Gary

      Happy birthday Shelley. I was lucky enough to have you as my guide last July when.I took the White Island trip. I have followed your recovery and so pleased you are slowly getting your life back. Life can be a bitch at times but you seem to have managed to deal with it much better than I think I could. I admire your outlook and wish you a very very happy birthday. Gary

    • 12/04/2020 by Gill

      Dear Kelsey, Happy Birthday darling girl. So very proud of you. Kevin (husband) and I were looking at White today and talking about you. What enormous change you have faced. Keep on pushing. We think you're amazing.

      Much Love Gill Molony xxxxx

    • 12/04/2020 by Les

      Kia ora Kelsey

      A very Happy Birthday. We hope that you have enjoyed your day.


      The Millard Whānau

    • 12/04/2020 by Vanessa

      Happy Birthday and Happy Easter Kelsey! You are an inspiration to us all. Keep digging deep and being kind to yourself. Vanessa.

    • 12/04/2020 by Shelley

      Dear Kelsey, Best wishes for your 26th birthday. You look just as beautiful as the day I first met you, when my family and I took a tour of the Island in January 2019. My granddaughter Kelsie was with me and we were talking to another guide when she asked my grandaughter her name. When she heard her name was Kelsie she called you over and introduced her to yourself. You had quite a chat with my Kelsie and her two sisters, and I will always remember that meeting - you made Kelsie feel very special. So after the eruption when I read your name in the news I knew it was you and it saddened me and Kelsie very much.

      I would like to now wish you every happiness.

      Keep being strong

      Shelley, Kelsie,Sasha and Paige 🌻

    • 13/04/2020 by Robert

      Kia Ora Kelsey

      First, HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I hope your bubble made it the best they could in the circumstances.

      Second, you're amazing. Absolutely amazing.

      Your honest and generosity in telling your story is awesome.

      Kia haumaru. Kia kaha wahine toa

    • 15/04/2020 by Janet

      Hi Kelsey!

      Hope you had a lovely birthday. I have felt privileged to follow your journey. You look gorgeous, love your hair. Yes the scars are part of your journey, and you've had a hell of a journey. I hope that all the years ahead are full of love, and good times, and friends and family. Thank you for sharing such private times with us. I might have to get onto Instagram to keep following what you are doing.


  • An Update - From Home 💕

      17 March 2020
    Posted by: Rochelle (Shelley) Waghorn
    Main image

    Well, I’m home!

    In total, I spent 49 days in Hutt Hospital - 10 of those in ICU, and 5 of them in an induced coma. During those 10 days, no one could tell my family whether I was going to make it or not. Thankfully, my little beaten up vessel pulled through, and I made it up to the burns/plastics ward where I spent another 39 days.

    I was transferred to Waikato on a tennis-ball-coloured air plane. I only spent 16 days as an inpatient at Waikato Hospital, which, actually, would have been a lot shorter had I not fallen over on my very first weekend leave, which landed me back in Whakatāne A&E. Not exactly the way I’d planned on going back to see and thank the team there. Needless to say, my doctor back in Waikato was more than apprehensive about letting me have the following weekend at home. But, we convinced her I’d learnt my lesson, and I was granted the next two weekends home.

    A grand total of 65 days in hospital. Plus 14 trips to the operating theatre totalling around 70hrs (including recovery).

    I was discharged on February 13th with the idea that I wouldn’t have any unplanned visits from medics until my two week check up back in Waikato. True to form, my body had other ideas. Before my first dressing change at home on the Monday following my release, I passed out in the shower. Twice. In doing so, I skinned my shin and traumatised my family for life (again..). Cue the ambulance, IV line and a whole lot of blood pressure checks.

    Thankfully, other than a collapsed jugular vein and some oozy fingers, I haven’t had any other surprises.

    Words can’t describe how good it is to be home - my own bed (that doesn’t inflate and deflate randomly), the fresh air, the view from the lounge, and of course, our two dogs. My days are still full of physio, hand therapy, OTs and district nurse visits, but I am home.

    Thank you once again for your continued support, love, advice and donations. They really mean the world to me.

    Be careful out there, and wash your hands x

      10 comments  |  Login to leave a comment
    • 18/03/2020 by Kath

      Thumbs up to one amazing young lady. You did it! You absolutely did it!! Still ongoing but you have the fortitude to get there. So very proud of you. 😍🥰😘

    • 18/03/2020 by Janet

      Hi there Kelsey!

      Thanks for the update. What a roller coaster for you, I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes and goosebumps. Your poor family and friends, I feel for them with all the scares they've had with your recovery!

      Geez bet you're glad being home and out of the way of the blimmin virus!!! You be careful now that you're going from strength to strength. I'm not surprised you pushed it. From you updates you're obviously not one to 'play it safe''.

      Ooh you've made my day. I'm so happy with your progress.


    • 18/03/2020 by Kristina

      Tears of happiness for you from strangers in Colorado Springs, Colorado. So happy to read your update and hear that you are home and doing well. We've been thinking of you!

    • 18/03/2020 by Gerry

      Hi Kelsey, your update was most enjoyable to read even if it did bring tears to my eyes. You are an awesomely strong person and you have amazing spirit. Go girl. Keep well

    • 18/03/2020 by Virginia

      Hello Kelsey, thanks for the update it. What journey it has been for you and your family. You have been in my thoughts often. It's lovely to have received this update today and puts life into perspective. I see you are going from strength to strength which is so awesome Kelsey! Wishing you well for your recovery and welcome back to EBOP! Take care, stay strong. Big hugs x

    • 18/03/2020 by Amy

      Delighted Kelsey xxx you are such an inspiration xx

    • 18/03/2020 by Donna

      Hi Kelsey, wonderful to read your update and know you are doing so well and so happy to be home. Keep on getting stronger each day, all our love and thoughts are with you always. No more fainting or falls, not allowed ;-) We are proud of you xxx

    • 18/03/2020 by Anthony

      That's great news Kelsey that you are home and all the very best for your continued recovery. Cheers.

    • 28/03/2020 by Vanessa

      Kia ora Kelsey

      Wow! That's a story within a story. It's wonderful to hear that you have made it home... the best place in the world to be. I hope that you and all your loved ones are keeping safe and well. Thank you for sharing your story... I look forward to reading more updates.



    • 06/04/2020 by Robert

      Hello Kelsey. I hope your recovery is continuing to go well. Considering all the challenges that the eruption and your recovery from it has subjected you to, you are looking great in the photo.

      All the best. Love reading your updates. Stay well.

  • Update from Kelsey

      8 February 2020
    Main image

    With all the bad going on in the world at the moment, I feel like some good news is in order!

    I’m doing really well.

    I had my arms, hands and a small portion of my stomach grafted on December 11th - thankfully, my back and butt were great donor sites.

    I don’t remember a lot from my time in ICU and my first few days on the ward because I was on some sweeeeeet pain meds. Turns out I’m not good on ketamine. 😅🤷🏼‍♀️

    My legs, lower back and some touch ups on my upper arms had their donor/cadaver skin removed and were grafted on December 27th. Now this proved to be quite “uncomfortable” (to put it gently....) given that my back and butt were “harvested” a second time, along with some strips from my upper thighs.

    By this stage, I’d been (painfully) upright only twice between these two graftings with a lot of assistance from my beautiful Physio, family and a handful of nurses. So there was a lot of blood, sweat and tears put into getting me where I am today after my final graftings.

    I am fairly mobile now, albeit wobbly and minus some strength.

    I am slowly regaining the use of both of my hands - my right is worse than my left. But I’m working on that everyday.

    There’s been complications - blood clots and infections, but my surgical and ward team were on top of it before it ever got too bad.

    Monday marks 9 weeks since Whakaari decided she would clear her throat. 9 weeks since I received full thickness burns to about 45% of my body. 9 weeks since I lost work colleagues and good friends.

    My body has been going full-tilt since, to the point where my heart rate whilst in my 5-day coma was 157. Nowadays, it’s still around 100.

    Everything is healing twice as fast as anyone predicted, and although I have my moments, I am proud of the huge progress I have made. I’m covered in scars and relocated skin, and that’s okay with me.

    Once again, thank you thank you thank you to everyone for their donations, their kind words, their time and hard work.

    I wouldn’t be here without you.

    Kels (“Special K”)

      8 comments  |  Login to leave a comment
    • 09/02/2020 by Suzanne

      Kelsey, your update is so positive and upbeat - a tonic and gift to others and to me who can only continue to pray for your speedy recovery.

      I hope you are now able to look forward to a full and happy life, picking up the pieces so you smile and laugh again with people who you love sharing time with.

      I’m in Auckland on this beautiful sunny day. Some visiting planes have just flown over in formation, looking quite magnificent against a clear blue cloudless sky.

      Our two dogs are close by... 2 year old poodle, Robbie, struggling in the summer heat and our Dear old man Sam, oblivious to most things apart from food and a walk.

      I, too, am in awe and have huge respect for the medical carers who have the skills, compassion and temperament to work with those unfortunate enough to need their skills.

      Thinking of you and wishing you an continued recovery.

      Suzanne Couper

    • 09/02/2020 by Janet

      Hey there Kelsey!

      Thanks for the update. I'm sure I can help to make full sentences with just swear words in them instead of your upbeat and polite comment about what you're going through. I need to pull my head in and stop with the negativity when I have a great life.

      I'm so, so pleased to hear that even though it's a hard road, you're getting there bit by bit. Yeha, go you.

      Ooh we have summer today in Wellington. Wellington has missed out this year for sure. My wrinkly old skin is testament to a few good summer days.

      The scars show a hard fought battle and survival!

      Geez not only are you going through this hell, but of course you've lost some beautiful friends! I so feel for you.

      You are indeed a Special K. And thanks so much for sending us the updates.


    • 09/02/2020 by Robert

      Kelsey, your recovery is hugely impressive. Having read the account of American volcanologist who lost six colleagues in an eruption in Colombia and barely survived, I was scared your family, colleagues, friends and supporters were going to lose you to infections or other recovery complications.

      In a world where all sorts of bad stuff is going on, your posts are a ray of sunshine.

      Maybe one day when you are better and Whakaari is not so cranky, you might be able to stand on the crater floor. Just you and it hopefully reaching some sort of reconciliation that only you as a victim and the volcano could do.

      Special K indeed.

    • 09/02/2020 by Sharon

      Hi Kels,

      So lovely to get this update. You are making amazing progress and we are so proud of your strength to endure what you have been through. We continue to pray that you keep on healing twice as fast as expected and your good days far out number the not so good days.

      Kia Kaha.

      Lots of love

      Russell and Sharon

    • 10/02/2020 by Narin

      Tena koe kelsey

      You’re right, we need some good news, great to have feedback. Stoked you are on your journey of recovery. It was a fun read “........sweeeeeet pain meds ha!”

      Keep going girl!

      Naku noa


    • 10/02/2020 by Elizabeth

      Dear Kelsey, Thanks for sharing another step in your recovery journey. You are very brave and I can only imagine what it costs you in pain and effort to keep going. You are an inspiration. Kia kaha. Be strong, keep going, You are definitely a "Special K". Hugs Liz

    • 10/02/2020 by MICHELLE

      Hi Kelsey

      I am Josh's mum (Ashleigh's partner) You have been constantly in my thoughts. The Wheeler's have kept me up to date on your progress. I haven't met you (yet) but I just want you to know I am proud of the fight you have in you and I hope your journey to recovery continues and you get home to your loved ones very soon.


    • 13/03/2020 by Jocelyne

      Hi Kelsey:

      Just wanted to leave you a message to tell you how proud we are of you and how strong you are. Although we are in Canada, we look forward to all your updates as we think of you often! It is unbelievable to read what you have been through and feel lucky to have met such a special person as yourself. Sounds like you are surrounded by special people, (your family and caregivers) and want to thank them all for taking care of you. Seems like you are improving each and every and we are so pleased to hear that. Stay positive, ( even on the rough days) as you have so much living to do and you definitely make the world a brighter place! You are truly special!

      Jocelyne and Brad

  • A Message From Kelsey

      23 January 2020

    Kelsey's progress is now so positive. Thank you again for your incredible support for her!!! I am now extremely happy to share a message from Kelsey,

    'Thank you to everyone who has reached out or helped my family since December 9th. And to those who have generously donated to my Givealittle, I’ve been reading your comments in small batches as the kindness is overwhelming. It’s hard to fathom the amount of love and support from people I met through work, and even people I haven’t met.

    Thank you so much to the emergency services, doctors, nurses, surgeons that got me from the Whakatāne wharf, through ICU, to the Plastics and Burns Unit. You literally saved my life, and ensured I will go on to live a long and beautiful life. Here’s hoping that 14 trips to the operating theatre are the only trips I’ll take!

    Thank you doesn’t seem like a big enough word(s) to my family and partner who have been by my side from day one, through the low-lows to the “baby’s first step” highs. You’ve been through hell with me, and I am lost for words in how to thank you all. I’ll just keep pushing forward, and hope that that will do for now. '

      8 comments  |  Login to leave a comment
    • 24/01/2020 by Kath

      Just seeing you return to the Kels we all know. Is all the thanks any of us need. Your mum is an amazing strong woman. The unconditional love and commitment she has given you Kels is second to none. It will continue forever. Your gorgeous young man being there beside you is a true declaration of his love for you. Keep strong lovely. We are all here to walk by your side to cheer you on along your recovery path. Kath 🥰

    • 24/01/2020 by Gill

      Dear Kelsey

      So good to have an update from you. What a courageous lady you are. We all continue to keep you in our hearts and parts. Much Love xxx

    • 24/01/2020 by Elizabeth

      Kelsey, your days are very hard, I'm sure, so your message of thanks is very generous. I'm glad you've got loving support. Stay strong. Hugs from afar. Liz

    • 24/01/2020 by Deborah Woollett

      Kelsey I have never met you but we know your mum, dad and Holly. I am so very happy to hear how well you are progressing now. Though I have not met you , you have been very much in my, and many many other peoples, thoughts over the last 6 weeks. Thank you for your update and keep reaching for the sky xx

    • 25/01/2020 by Anthony

      Hi Kelsey; Thanks for the update and great to hear you are making positive progress and all the very best in your continued recovery. It's also very apparent that you have a lot of love and support around you.

    • 26/01/2020 by tracy

      Kelsey, wonderful to hear you are doing well, your a true survivor and your partner, family and friends can now start to look after themselves too, what an ordeal for you all. I just love how you have been showered in love and your beautiful country NZ have shown you what extended family really from us from over the ditch!!!!! Trace and shoshannah xoxoxox

    • 27/01/2020 by Janet

      Hi there Kelsey!

      I'm one of the people you haven't met, but I'm so glad both you and Jake are hanging in there. I can't even imagine what you're going through. Love how kiwis seem to band together at times like this. I am so proud of your guys and pleased to know there's some little highs as well. Sounds like your partner and your family are amazing people. Keep on keeping on. And thank you so much for the updates. Janet

    • 27/01/2020 by Jocelyne

      We are happy to hear you are out of ICU and think of you a lot as we have three daughters your age and can't even imagine how hard it must be. You are so courageous and we are so fortunate to have met you and had you as our guide! We know you will go on and live a beautiful life as you are a strong, amazing woman. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers every day and hope one day you can visit us here in Canada! Joce and Brad

  • First update for 2020

      8 January 2020

    Thank you so much for your continued support and concern for Kelsey. We all continue to be overwhelmed by it.

    Kelsey is doing well. She continues to have surgery every few days.

    She had a really rough week following Christmas. Hard for Kelsey and really hard for her partner and family. Your messages of strength, love, support and prayers truly helped them all through this. Kelsey, true to her nature, has dug deep and is working really hard on her recovery path way. She even managed to sit up for the first time in 2020 on Saturday with the support of the physio team - huge progress!!

    Kelsey's mum has been with her throughout. Her partner and family are incredible - walking the journey with Kelsey, supporting her all the way xxoo

      8 comments  |  Login to leave a comment
    • 09/01/2020 by Pauline

      Kelsey you are an inspiration to us all. Great to hear how you are progressing. Pauline ex Waiewe St

    • 09/01/2020 by Cyn Smith

      Time goes on but New Zealanders are still thinking of you every day. Kia kaha

    • 09/01/2020 by Vanessa

      Kelsey, you sound like a remarkable young woman. Hold on tight to all those amazing inner qualities you possess and know that we are willing you on in spirit. Sending you and your family love and strength. Xxx

    • 09/01/2020 by Amy

      Keep going Kelsie you are an inspiration, Take each day as it comes and know that each day you are getting that wee bit stronger. My thoughts are constantly with you, Thanks for the update Whanau Kia Kaha Kelsie xoxo

    • 09/01/2020 by Amy

      I'm sorry I spelt your name wrong Kelsey. xo

    • 11/01/2020 by tristan

      Hi Kelsey,

      I hope your pain is easing and you are managing to cope with the emotional pain too. All mountains are climbed with baby steps. I wish you and your family strength on this mountain of yours. We NZ'ers are with you all the way. Tristan gilmour

    • 11/01/2020 by tracy

      Thinking of you and your family, well done on sitting up Kelsey, little steps, little wins...we are all applauding you from Qld Australia!!! xoxoxoxox

    • 26/01/2020 by tracy

      Kelsey, wonderful to hear you are doing well, your a true survivor and your partner, family and friends can now start to look after themselves too, what an ordeal for you all. I just love how you have been showered in love and your beautiful country NZ have shown you what extended family really from us from over the ditch!!!!! Trace and shoshannah xoxoxox

  • Thank you!

      19 December 2019

    Thank you so much for your incredible response to Kelsey’s Givealittle page.

    We are truely grateful and feel humbled. The messages have touched us - some made us laugh, some made us tearful but, all of them have made us feel the love, compassion and strength that Kelsey and the family will need.

    Some messages have been read to Kelsey and all have been kept for her to read further on in her journey.

    Kelsey remains in critical care but is no longer in a coma. She is sedated and still having surgery every couple of days. She has had her family beside her throughout.

    The healthcare has been phenomenal - they are not only there for Kelsey but also for her family. We appreciate each one of them.

    I know your continued support will help Kelsey and her family get through those tough times xxoo

      6 comments  |  Login to leave a comment
    • 20/12/2019 by Kath

      Kels I know you are no quitter. With your Tom beside you I know you will tackle the challenges ahead however big they may be. You go girl. Love you Kathxx

    • 20/12/2019 by Narin

      Hey Kelsey whanau

      I am incredibly blessed by the response to your Kelsey. $91.4k in 7days. There are GOOD people out there and I’m allowed to be ONE of them.

      We truly live in the bay of PLENTY.

      Of a morning I can be found biking to the back of bayfair, putting my bike on the bus and going to join to octogenarians at mount hot pool. We talk over how jacinder of morrinsville is doing at running the show. We talk over Israel Folau hating on the LGBT crew in the name of Christ hahahah

      On the way I sit beside a young man who asks for $1.50 to add to his money on his bus card, so he can get on the bus. I tell him “it’s your LUCKY day, I’ve just been to the atm & I’ve got a quiet $100. You better have $20 for your bus, a flat white and something to eat. I walked away TEN FEET TALL. Super Maori lol

      The very next week I go to my dentist who paid my $1500* bill last time and again he goes, when I asked him what will this dentist appointment cost, he goes your NOT paying, it’s on me . So I go away humbled. Smiling. TEN FEET TALL.

      Pay it forward folks. Pay it forward. A little kindness. An unnecessary smile. A quiet grin.


    • 09/01/2020 by Janet


      Thinking of you. From what friends say about you, you truly are a fighter. I am humbled to be able to follow your progress. And some days are going to be shit and you'll have so many well meaning people wishing you well. I guess sometimes you'll just have to grin and bear all the attention. I guess what you'd really like is to have time to yourself.

      I'm following yours and Jake's recovery and just sending you good thoughts! I think of you both often.


    • 22/01/2020 by Sheila

      Hello Kelsey.

      Want you to know I pray every day for you. You’re so brave & courageous.

      I prayer everyday for your family.

      God bless.

    • 12/02/2020 by Gill

      Thank you for the progress report Kelsey. You are such a star . Keep fighting brave girl. Gentle and big hugs xxx

    • 21/05/2020 by Gill

      Dear Kelsey I believe the entire town thinks of you guys everyday. Personally I am stunned at your strength and determination. There are bound to be days when you you feel depressed, sad, angry but you you have found the ability to dust yourself off and keep going. Well done you. Much Love. Gill