An Australian woman who survived the volcanic eruption on New Zealand’s White Island has woken from her coma to learn that the eruption killed her husband and daughter.
Adelaide woman Lisa Dallow woke from her coma in the burns unit at The Alfred hospital in Melbourne and was told the tragic news of her husband Gavin Dallow and 15-year-old daughter Zoe Hosking, News Corp reported on Tuesday.
A family spokeswoman said Ms Dallow, 48, struggled on hearing the news.
“She now knows what has happened,” she said.
“It took a while for it to sink in and then she just kept saying she can’t believe they had died.”
The family were on a day trip to White Island while cruising on the liner Ovation when the volcano erupted on December 9, killing 21 people.
Mr Dallow reportedly died in one of the helicopters that flew some of the worst injured in the eruption off the island. Ms Dallow was also flown off the island.
Zoe’s body was one of those recovered in a risky joint recovery mission four days after the eruption.
Mr Dallow, a lawyer, was farewelled at Adelaide Oval on January 10 in a service in front of about 600 mourners.
A service for Zoe is yet to be held. It was delayed in hopes Ms Dallow would be well enough to attend – although that still seems unlikely.
“Obviously Lisa had no input into Gavin’s funeral,” Mr Dallow’s twin sister, Meredith, told the New Zealand Herald on February 6.
“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 husband’s funeral, or Zoe’s funeral. All she can do is watch the video.”
Ms Dallow, an engineer with Santos, was flown back to Australia after the eruption with burns to more than half of her body.
- Read more: First Australian victims of deadly eruption named
- Read more: ‘Deeply sorry’: Last bodies may never be found
- Read more: Injured Australians arrive back home
Of the 47 people reportedly on the island at the time, 18 were killed instantly or later succumbed to their injuries, while two people, Hayden Marshall-Inman of New Zealand and Winona Langford of Australia, were initially listed as missing before being presumed dead on January 23.
Most of the victims were Australian tourists.
Melbourne man Paul Browitt died at The Alfred in January due to injuries from the eruption, which also claimed his daughter Krystal.
His other daughter Stephanie remains in The Alfred for treatment.
An American man who died in hospital in New Zealand in January was the eruption’s 21st victim.