Two months on from her horrific ordeal, Whakaari / White Island survivor Kelsey Waghorn has shared images of her recovery on social media - and in the process discovered what a small world we live in.
Kelsey, 25, was a White Island guide and one of 47 visitors to the active volcano on the December 9 day it spewed ash, steam and toxic gas into the air, killing 21 people including Kelsey's colleagues, Hayden-Marshall Inman and Tipene Maangi.
Kelsey received burns to 45 per cent of her body and has undergone more than a dozen surgeries, with skin grafts to her arms, legs, hands and back.
In recent days she has taken to Instagram to share images showing her progress and in one photo, the remains of a tattoo on her right forearm can be seen.
She captioned the photo: "Planned this tattoo for two years.
"I got it the morning of the @foofighters 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?"
"Sorry, @phoebej_tattoos @7thday_studio, guess I'll have to come back in a couple years for a touch up 😅" she joked.
Then in an uncanny case of six degrees of separation, Kelsey received a reply to her post from a follower who revealed the most uncanny of coincidences.
The follower said she remembered getting inked alongside Kelsey that day, recalling the conversation they'd had because they were both going to the Foo Fighters that night.
Kelsey's follower wrote: "Because sometimes life is a little bit weird.... I just saw this photo... and upon reading the caption I realised something. I was right next to you while you were getting this tattoo! I was getting one on my ribs at the same time and remember you saying you were going to the concert because we were going too.
"Small world sometimes. All the best for your recovery!"
A Givealittle page has been set up to help Kelsey in her recovery and has so far raised more than $100,000.
In a recent update on the page Kelsey shared that she cried when she saw how much had been donated.
"Once again, thank you thank you thank you to everyone for their donations, their kind words, their time and hard work," she wrote.
"I wouldn't be here without you."
She also revealed that she was slowly regaining the use of both her hands.
"My right is worse than my left. But I'm working on that every day.
"Everything is healing twice as fast as anyone predicted," she shared. "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."
Earlier this week she told The Rock she had no memory of the first few days after the December 9 eruption.
"I skipped through all of that. I don't remember all the really gnarly stuff. I don't remember almost dying several times in surgery and being on life support.
"My family, they didn't have that luxury of being doped up to the eyeballs for the first 10 days," she said.
She has shared that she was only just starting to accept that her colleague Hayden Marshall-Inman, who was lost at sea, didn't make it home.
"Of all people, I never dreamed it would ever be you," she wrote in an emotional tribute on social media.
"Thank you for everything you have taught me over the last five years. I will never forget your laugh, your lessons and your love.
"I'll never watch a game of rugby or drink a Steinlager without thinking of you, my annoying big brother.
"Look after those who step into Whakaari like you taught so many of us crew to do x"
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