White Island volcano victim wakes from coma to be told husband and child are dead

11 February 2020, 15:54

Lisa Dallow has woken from a coma to learn that her husband Gavin and daughter Zoe are dead
Lisa Dallow has woken from a coma to learn that her husband Gavin and daughter Zoe are dead. Picture: Facebook

By Kate Buck

A mum who has been in a coma since the White Island volcano eruption has finally woken up only to be told her husband and daughter are dead.

Lisa Dallow was on the New Zealand island with her only child Zoe, 15, and husband Gavin, 53, when it erupted on 9 December.

She was severely injured during the eruption, suffering burns to 60 per cent of her body,

The family from South Australia were on a family holiday, and were just some of the dozens of other tourists and guides on the island that day.

Twenty-one people were killed during the tragedy.

Gavin died in a helicopter that had been scrambled to assist the survivors and Zoe passed away near the island, according to local media.

A family spokesperson told the Adelaide Advisor: "It took her a while for it to sink in and then she just kept saying she can't believe they have died."

Mrs Dallow has suffered 60 per cent burns to her body
Mrs Dallow has suffered 60 per cent burns to her body. Picture: Facebook
Zoe, 15, was Mrs Dallow's only child
Zoe, 15, was Mrs Dallow's only child. Picture: Facebook

They added that Mrs Dallow has few memories of what happened, saying she only "remembers it exploding and then telling everyone to run".

"She then recalled how rocks were falling everywhere and hitting her on the back.

"She remembers thinking 'when are they going to come and rescue us?'

"The next thing she knows is she is in hospital and wondering where she was."

Mrs Dallow sadly missed her husband's funeral as she was still unwell, but it is hoped she will be well enough to attend a memorial for her daughter in the near future.

22 people died when White Island erupted
22 people died when White Island erupted. Picture: PA

Since the eruption almost two months ago, Mrs Dallow has been recovering in Melbourne's Alfred Hospital burns unit, where she had been flown to be closer to her family.

Another six Australians are also still recovering from the eruption in hospital.

White Island, known by Maori as Whakaari, is New Zealand's most active volcano, and is found around 30 miles off the Bay of Plenty coast.

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