Adelaide mother Lisa Dallow, who was critically injured in the New Zealand volcanic eruption, has burns to 57 per cent of her body and is in an induced coma, her husband’s sister says.
Meredith Dallow said the family has still not heard anything from her brother, Gavin Dallow, or Lisa’s 15-year-old daughter, Zoe Hosking.
All three of them went missing after the eruption on New Zealand’s White Island on Monday.
Lisa Dallow was found alive in a hospital in Hamilton yesterday.
Her brother, David Francis, has flown from Melbourne to be beside her in hospital.
New Zealand authorities have confirmed several deaths from the explosion, while other people remain missing.
Meredith Dallow said her sister-in-law was in a critical condition with severe burns.
“It’s horrible being back here but then I think there’s nothing probably we can do over there either,” she said.
“We’re probably better just staying put here until we get some more up-to-date information.”
She heard about the explosion on the TV news and then called the New Zealand consulate to find out more.
The consulate confirmed the victims were from the Dallows’ cruise ship Ovation of the Seas, and that the family had gone on a daytrip to White Island.
“I think we were just in shock and didn’t really know what to think or do because at that stage I didn’t know how bad things were or anything,” Meredith Dallow said.
“It wasn’t until later that night that I realised how bad things were.”
Casualties of the eruption have been sent to hospitals across New Zealand, as well as some in Australia.
Meredith Dallow said the family was hoping Gavin and Zoe would still be found alive.
“That’s what I pin my hopes to — that they’ve been taken to different hospitals,” she said. Mr Dallow recently retired after working for a decade with the Legal Services Commission of South Australia.
The commission’s access services manager, Chris Boundy, said Mr Dallow had quit to spend more time with the love of his life and her daughter.
“He was a very giving, very generous and very loyal partner and I think they would have been inseparable,” he said.
“From the sounds of things this was the holiday of a lifetime.”
Mr Boundy said a workplace Christmas lunch yesterday was subdued.
“It was a very sombre affair — it was very bittersweet,” he said.
“We almost feel guilty having a Christmas lunch today without Gavin’s presence because he was a larger than life character.”