We’re celebrating women. This whole month is dedicated to us girls.
I thought I’d share with you one of the most inspiring stories I have come across. A story about survival against all odds. Not just survival – this is one kick ass awesome woman.
Meet Turia Pitt. In 2011 she was trapped in a grass fire while competing in a 100km ultramarathon. Her life was going pretty well until then. Model, fitness fanatic, mining engineer – it all came to a screeching halt. Full thickness burns to 65% of her body landed her in hospital barely alive.
She lost seven fingers, spent an agonising six months in hospital, underwent 200 operations, spent two years in recovery. Against all odds she survived. Not just survived – she has gone on to make a whole new life for herself that has literally launched her into a whole other orbit.
Turia is now married. She has given birth to her first child. As an ambassador for Interplast Australia & New Zealand she has helped raise almost $1 million in donations. Interplast is an organisation that sends teams of volunteer plastic and reconstructive surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses and allied health professionals to provide life-changing surgery and medical training in 17 countries across the Asia Pacific region. We do this in partnership with local organisations, including hospitals, universities and local NGOs. Our mission is to ‘repair bodies and rebuild lives’ and we do this through providing surgical services to those who could not otherwise afford or access these, and by building the capacity of local medical systems through our training and mentoring programs.
But that is not all that Turia does. She also works for Haapii, a foundation with the overall aim of providing kids in developing countries with the best educational resources possible. AND she provides online programs to mentor people to take part in Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. In 2016 she competed in her first Ironman competition. Of course on top of all of this are tours, speaking engagements, interviews etc etc. She’s one busy lady. Passionate about life. Passionate about helping others. And passionate about her family.
I suspect that those who know her no longer see the scars that cover her body. She wears them with dignity. She makes no effort to hide them. Quite the opposite. They are on show. I suspect that Turia herself no longer ‘sees’ them either. They have become a part of who she is. She is far too busy celebrating life to be bothered by mere outward appearances.
I wonder how I would have dealt with it had I been in her shoes. I honestly don’t know. But this much I do know – we can be far more resilient than we give ourselves credit for.
© Raili Tanska