Survivor to inspiration and advocate
After waking up from a coma with extensive burns, it would have been easy for White Island Volcano survivor Stephanie Browitt to have given up. Instead, she overcame all odds to become an inspiration for countless others by using her voice to advocate for those in need.
With the love of her mother Marie and the memories of her father Paul and young sister Krystal, who passed away from their injuries at White Island, Stephanie found strength she never knew she had and began her inspirational long and challenging journey to recovery.
Stephanie’s determination to make her family proud and her remarkable progress has been a source of inspiration to many who have followed her on her journey. However, those who helped make her survival possible are never far from her mind.
With the help of the burns team, nurses and specialists at The Alfred, Stephanie began ticking off multiple goals so she could return home with her mother as soon as possible.
“They gave me strength and continued to remind me that everything I thought I could no longer do was still possible and to aim for my goals.
“They fast became my number one supporters, behind my mum. When I was finally able to stand, when I took one step more than the previous day, they would always be there cheering me on.
“They laughed with me and they cried with me, but most importantly they were there for my every step.”
Now, while still facing her own challenges, Stephanie is lending her voice to help others in similar need and was recently the ambassador for organ and tissue authority DonateLife.
“I received skin donations from up to 12 people. That gift means everything to me… those people gave me my life. Everyday I think of how my recovery wouldn’t have been possible without them.”
“A lot of my donated skin had to be ordered from the USA and that’s become a huge problem in Australia. We need donor skin readily available,” Stephanie said.
As she continues to take enormous strides in her journey, Stephanie says she’s not about to stop.
“I will continue to make my family proud, prove that I am a strong and capable woman and that my injuries won’t hold me back. I am determined that my injuries and scars will not define me.”