27-year-old marathoner Turia Pitt has had a long road back to health after suffering horrific burns during a fire at the ultra-marathon run in Western Australia in 2011. She spent two years in hospital and had seven fingers amputated during an endless series of operations.
Turia told Woman’s Day magazine she has now reached what she’s hopes will be the last big milestone in her long recovery - getting a long dreamed of new nose. Following a further operation to ‘refine her nose and widen her nostrils’, Turia says she's planning to participate in the Melbourne Ironman next year.
But, as with much of her harrowing journey, this operation wasn’t without its complications. Mum Celestine Vaite told Woman’s Day how her daughter had to fight for her life once again.
She explains that she and Turia’s boyfriend Michael Hoskin were at the hospital when the cardiac alarm sounded and the head nurse ran towards the operating room.
She admits: ‘We thought she was gone.’
‘I said, God, don’t you dare. She’s fought so hard, this girl,’ she continues. ‘She fought to get out of bed, she fought to walk, she fought to accept – don’t you dare do that to her!’
Thankfully, Turia pulled through and she says of her new nose;
‘It is a definite improvement. My face is more relaxed; it was quite tight before,’ she says, adding: ‘When I see old photos of myself, I can’t believe I didn’t have a nose for so long!’
Turia is now well enough to show off pics of her new nose on Instagram.
Turia's road to recovery
Sept 2011: Turia Pitt was trapped by fire during 100km ultramarathon on Kimberley course, suffering horrific burns.
Turia was in a coma for two months and underwent a series of lifesaving operations.
She had to wear a compression stocking for 23 hours a day and remained in hospital for the next two years.
Aug 2013: She publicly reveals her scarred face for the first time in an interview with the Nine Network.
Sept 2013: She publishes Everything to Live For, a book about her experience.
May 2014: Turia won a multi-million dollar settlement from Kimberley ultramarathon organisers Racing The Planet
June 2014: She treks the Great Wall of China, raising more than $175,000AUD for the charity Interplast