Krystal and Stephanie Browitt were passengers on Ovation of the Seas during the White Island eruption
Krystal and Stephanie Browitt were passengers on Ovation of the Seas during the White Island eruption

Mum’s month-long hospital vigil beside Volcano victim daughter

The mother of a New Zealand volcano victim has not left her daughter’s bedside for more than a month after her youngest child and husband died in the White Island volcano eruption.

Maria Browitt, who was cruising onboard Ovation of the Seas with her husband Paul, and daughters Krystal, 21 and Stephanie, 23, stayed onboard the ship while the rest of her family went on ashore to White Island.

Krystal was killed in the eruption while Stephanie and Paul were severely injured and were among the six that were recovered from the island in the days after the eruption.

Ms Browitt and Mr Browitt were transferred to Alfred Hospital in their hometown of Melbourne, three days after the eruption

A police statement earlier this week, confirmed Mr Browitt died from his injuries last Sunday, a month after the incident. He is the 20th victim of the eruption.

Friends of the Browitt’s said that Marie is now keeping a vigil at the hospital for her daughter. And a family friend, Steven Galea has helped raise more than $100,000 for Browitt’s through the crowd funding website, GoFundMe.

On the page, he said Marie wanted to express her gratitude for the support her family has received.

“Marie would like to express her appreciation for all the love and support offered to her and her family during these past few weeks,” Mr Galea wrote.

“Overwhelmed and with heartfelt gratitude, she wishes to pass on a big THANK YOU for all the offers of support, donations and warm wishes which have been lovingly provided. Unfortunately, she is still unable to personally reach out to anyone at the moment, as her focus remains with her family in the hospital.”

Alfred Hospital told Reuters it was continuing to give specialised burn care to two volcano victims transferred there. Aside from Ms Browitt, Lisa Dallow, 48 of Adelaide is also being treated at the same facility. Ms Dallow lost her husband, Davin, 53 and daughter, 25.

In total, 17 deaths have been confirmed, with two more missing. A total of 47 people were on the island when it erupted, most of which, were passengers onboard Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas.

There are 25 who are seriously injured and three who suffered minor injuries.

New Zealand authorities are still investigating the circumstances around the disaster. The volcano remains at an alert level of 2, indicating moderate to heightened unrest.