Turia Pitt is living proof that, with the right mindset, anything is possible.
Caught in a grassfire while competing in a 100 km ultramarathon in 2011, Turia suffered full thickness burns to 65 per cent of her body. But surviving is the least of her achievements. One of Australia’s most admired and widely recognised people, Turia has gone on to become a bestselling author, a two-time Ironman and a humanitarian – raising well over a million dollars for not-for-profit Interplast. Through her online presence, books and online programs, Turia has inspired millions to live with more confidence, conquer their fears and chase down their wildest dreams.
In September 2011, Turia, a beautiful 25-year-old mining engineer working her dream job in the far north of Western Australia, entered an ultra-marathon race that would change her life forever. Trapped by a fire in a gorge in the remote Kimberly region, Turia and five other competitors had nowhere to run. Turia escaped with catastrophic burns to 65 per cent of her body.
With too little unburned skin left for skin grafts, Turia was put in an induced coma in the Burns Unit at Sydney’s Concord Hospital while her body fought life-threatening infections and her surgeons imported skin from California. She lost the fingers on her right hand and her fingers on her left are partially fused together. She needed a new nose. There have been numerous operations, yet there are many more to come.
While the story of Turia’s survival involves many people – other race competitors, her rescuers, medical professionals – at its core is the strong will of Turia herself as she continues the long rehabilitation process with the loving support of her partner, Michael Hoskin, and that of their families in their New South Wales south coast hometown of Ulladulla, where the local community has rallied, raising funds to help with huge medical bills.
Her book “Everything to Live For” is the story of one young woman’s survival against extraordinary odds, a testament to the human spirit. It is also a love story. Michael, Turia’s handsome teenage crush who became the love of her life, now cares for her as they plan a new life together; he is there to encourage Turia in her determination to move forward in an outwardly different body.