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Please Support Kelsey's Recovery Journey from White Island Eruption

Cause page created in the Disaster category by Rachel Christie for "Kelsey Waghorn"

$118,890 donated
Given by 1972 generous donors in around 10 months

Kelsey's recovery journey will be long and challenging. The community support, love and good wishes have been amazing.

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  Bay of Plenty

Kelsey Waghorn was guiding a group when Whakaari/White Island erupted on Monday 9th December. She is in a critical condition in an induced coma in Hospital. She has sustained full thickness burns to 45% of her body. She is having to undergo surgeries every 2-3 days for skin grafts and constant monitoring of her burns.

Kelsey has been a Tour Guide with White Island Tours for 5 years. As a passionate marine biologist, she loves every second spent out on the ocean doing the job she loves – even after being challenged by the boat fire on PJ5 in 2016. She has such a passion for the sea and sharing her knowledge and passion with others. Her attitude towards safety and well being is hard to beat and she would never let her actions put anyone else at risk. She would always make the effort to help others and leave herself to last.

Kelsey is a strong courageous young woman. She has the biggest heart and is fiercely protective of those she loves. She will confidently fight for the rights of anyone. She’s the girl you want in your corner and will be calm and decisive in times of crisis. She’s so smart. She’s honest, direct and uncompromising. She loves nature, the environment - especially the ocean. She loves animals – especially her rescue dog ‘River’.

Rachel Christie's involvement (page creator)

Kelsey is my vibrant eldest niece

Use of funds

We would be incredibily grateful for any financial support to help Kelsey’s Whakatane based immediate family and partner be at her side seeing her through these initial early months and for her ongoing treatments, physio, OT and recovery. Thank you.

Latest update

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Surgery Update (from Kelsey)  21 October 2020

Posted by: Rochelle (Shelley) Waghorn

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

Read 13 more updates  |  Share this update

Latest donations

Carol 2 days ago
Think of you often. Hope you have an awesome Christmas and exciting New Year.
Alex 3 days ago
Shelley 6 days ago
Love to see you recovering so well Kelsey. I remember when you were named as having been on Whakaari/White Island when it erupted. My tummy did a complete flip as I was sure you were the beautiful girl who was introduced to my granddaughter Kelsie for having the same name albeit a different spelling. Her 2 sisters Sasha and Paige also met you, and you made their day even more special than it already was. I hope to help you recover and get the chance to get over this and our donation to help towards what you have lost. Love from all of us. Shelley.
Ramija on 05 Oct 2020
Sally on 23 Sep 2020

Who's involved?

Rachel Christie's avatar
Created by Rachel Christie
Rochelle (Shelley) Waghorn's avatar
Paying to a verified bank account of Rochelle (Shelley) Waghorn on behalf of Kelsey Waghorn

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This page was created on 12 Dec 2019 and closes on 14 Dec 2020.
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