Whakaari/White Island eruption: Tour guide shares photos of severe burn injuries

A Whakaari/White Island tour guide who survived the devastating eruption in December but received severe burns to a large section of her body has shared photos of her injuries.

Kelsey Waghorn, 25, was one the guides on the island on December 9 last year when the volcano erupted, killing 21 people. The bodies of two have never been recovered and have likely been swept away into the ocean.

Waghorn suffered burns to 45 percent of her body, including on her arms, hands, stomach and legs. She has undergone several surgeries to receive skin grafts and remains in Hutt Valley Hospital.

On her Instagram page, the guide has shared several photos since the eruption, including on Wednesday when she uploaded an image of her healing arm as she lay in a hospital bed. The image was taken on Christmas Day. A second image shared last week shows a tattoo which needs a "touch up" after mostly being burned off.

"I planned this tattoo for two years. I got it the morning of the Foo Fighters concert in 2018 and was in love with it. I was always asked, "what is your tattoo?", I guess that question will now be “what was your tattoo?" she wrote. 

"Guess I'll have to come back in a couple years for a touch up."

A GiveALittle for the guide, which has raised more than $112,000, describes her as a "passionate marine biologist" who "loves every second spent out on the ocean doing the job she loves."

"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."

Earlier this week, she told The Rock that she didn't remember the "gnarly stuff". 

"I don't remember almost dying several times in surgery and being on life support."

She is slowly regaining use of her hands and getting back to walking.