A month on from the Whakaari/White Island tragedy, two brave Kiwi tour guides who suffered horrific burns are still recovering in hospital, putting up the fight of their lives.
Kelsey Waghorn and Jake Milbank were both working for White Island Tours on the island when the volcano erupted on December 9.
As burning ash, steam and toxic gas blanketed dozens of tourists and guides, a desperate rescue was undertaken to get the wounded off the island for medical treatment.
Nineteen people lost their lives, with the bodies of 40-year-old Hayden Marshall-Inman and 17-year-old Australian tourist Winona Langford yet to be recovered.
Waghorn, a marine scientist, survived the tragedy but sustained full-thickness burns to 45 per cent of her body.
She spent 10 days in ICU, five of which she was in an induced coma.
But, speaking for the first time, her mother Shelley said Waghorn had now regained consciousness, was speaking and had even started physio.
She said her daughter was a fighter and the injured guide's attitude had been incredible.
"She's not giving up. Every time she is asked to do something she does it, it doesn't matter how hard it is or how much it hurts, she's just digging deep and doing it."
Shelley said the nurses and physio staff caring for her daughter were amazing.
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"They are right there for her, looking after her every step of the way."
They had practically become like family, as far as emotion, support and care goes, she said.
Everything that the people at Whakatāne Hospital did was crucial to her daughter's condition and survival.
"For a little hospital that wasn't really prepared they did an incredible job."
The kindness and support of friends, family and strangers had also meant a great deal to the family.
"It's just a massive thank you to everybody who has been involved."
But given the extent of her daughter's injuries, it was going to be a long journey and it was daunting, she said.
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A Givealittle page created to support Waghorn's recovery has received more than $100,000 in donations.
On the page Waghorn is described as a strong, courageous young woman who loves nature and spent a great deal of time out on the ocean.
Shelley said her daughter saw the online fundraiser when it had reached about $57,000 in funds.
"We showed her then and she cried."
However, it was not until the next day Waghorn realised the true sum, initially mistaking it for $5700.
At the time of publication $103,181 had been donated. Shelley said it was an overwhelming response.
More than $100,000 has also been raised for Milbank's recovery.
The teenager suffered burns to 80 per cent of his body and is still in a critical condition at Auckland's Middlemore Hospital.
His father Steve Milbank recently told the Whakatane Beacon they felt so grateful to all of the emergency services who responded to the disaster, including the helicopter pilots, Coastguard, ambos and doctors.
Milbank told the publication his son was doing as good as they could hope for with the injuries he had sustained.
"He is still in ICU, so we are still taking it day by day but the longer it goes on the more hopeful we are. He is recovering as well as anyone could expect to because he is young, and he is fit.
"He is still going for operations every few days, some skin grafts, because he has got very little skin; it is going to be a long, slow process."
His mother Janet told the publication the contents of the Givealittle messages had also helped her greatly.
"They certainly helped me in those first few days.
"We have had good support around us with friends and family and they have really helped us get through it as well."