A young woman critically injured in the Whakaari / White Island tragedy – which also took the lives of her sister and father – is no longer in a coma and has been able to post on social media.

The Browitt family from Melbourne were on what was meant to be a holiday of a lifetime. They were cruise ship passengers on board Ovation of the Seas to celebrate Krystal Browitt's 21st birthday when she, her father Paul and 23-year-old sister Stephanie took an excursion to White Island with other tourists on December 9.

Paul's wife, and Krystal and Stephanie's mother, Marie, opted to stay onboard the cruise ship.

Tragically, both Krystal and Paul died of injuries suffered in the eruption; Krystal's body was discovered on White Island on December 13, while Paul died of his injuries in Melbourne's Alfred Hospital last month.

Advertisement

Stephanie suffered life-threatening burns. After being treated in Christchurch Hospital for several days, she was later airlifted back to Melbourne in a coma to Alfred Hospital.

Now, about five weeks after her father's death, she has begun posting on social media, including telling some of her closest friends of her love for them and how much she misses them.

In response to well wishers, Stephanie has posted several comments, including telling a workmate: "Thank you! I miss you all also."

She told another friend: "Can't wait to see you all again!"

Other responses to friends feature love hearts, thanks for their support and telling another friend: "Love you".

Krystal Browitt died in the Whakaari / White Island tragedy. Photo / Supplied
Krystal Browitt died in the Whakaari / White Island tragedy. Photo / Supplied

Paul and Krystal Browitt are among the 21 people who died in the White Island disaster.

Just three days after the tragedy, family friend Steven Galea spoke of the anguish Marie was enduring while keeping a bedside vigil for Stephanie in Christchurch Hospital.

"She (Marie) is not coping. Who copes with this? No one. You just try to get through it. Four people went on a plane and three came back," he told The Australian.

Advertisement

"Questions like, 'What do you need?' are met with, 'I need my family alive'. How do you respond to that?"

Galea added "this is a nightmare and they've been living in it".

He set up GoFundMe account to raise money for the Browitts. The page has so far raised almost $78,000.

"They're a working class family. They're going to need money when they get back. Funerals cost money, flights cost money, I don't know, life costs money," Galea said in mid-December.

"She doesn't care about any of this right now, her focus is on her family and being with them."

Earlier this month the Herald on Sunday revealed that 48-year-old Adelaide woman Lisa Dallow woman had awoken from a coma to be given the heart-breaking news that her husband, 53-year Gavin Dallow, and her daughter, 15-year-old daughter Zoe Hosking, had died in the eruption.

Advertisement

Lisa suffered life-threatening burns in the tragedy and is also in Alfred Hospital.

An aerial view of Whakaari / White Island shortly after the deadly volcanic eruption on December 9. Bay of Plenty Times photograph / George Novak
An aerial view of Whakaari / White Island shortly after the deadly volcanic eruption on December 9. Bay of Plenty Times photograph / George Novak

Her sister-in-law Meredith Dallow said Lisa was ""burnt from head to toe all on her back," adding: "The only part of her body that is not bandaged is her face".

She also revealed that given her injuries, she likely wouldn't be able to attend the pending funeral of Zoe. Her family were going to organise a video link for her so she could watch the service.

"Obviously Lisa had no input into Gavin's funeral," Meredith said.

"So they [family] want her to be able to have a bit of a say, even though she won't be able to attend, in what she wants for Zoe.

"It means she hasn't been able to attend her father's funeral, or Zoe's funeral. All she can do is watch the video."

Advertisement
Focus: Whakatane Mayor Judy Turner speaks to The New Zealand Herald about the effect on her town one month on from the fatal eruption of White Island. Video / Alan Gibson

The Dallow family has been told Gavin died in one of the helicopters that took of the worst injured from White Island to Whakatāne for care.

Lisa was rushed from the island on the afternoon of December 9.

Zoe's body was not found until a joint New Zealand Police / New Zealand Defence Force recovery mission four days after the eruption.