Turia Pitt’s journey is one of strength and determination, and she knows only too well what it takes to overcome diversity. Five years ago, as she was competing in an ultra marathon, the then mining engineer student met with a deadly encounter that saw her life change completely at just 24 years old. Alongside a few other runners, Turi was trapped in a grassfire at a marathon held in Kimberly and with nowhere to escape, the fire burned over 65% of her body leaving her critically unstable.
Four other competitors were with Turia at the time of the fire. They tried their best to outrun the blaze which had now gotten seriously out of control, and as the flames got hotter with each passing minute, Ms. Turia attempted to save her life by trying to run. She realized that the jacket she had used to protect her head from the flames would prove insufficient and it was during this daring moment of escape that she acquired her burns.
She was rushed to the hospital, but by then, the fire had already done too much damage. She also lost the fingers and thumb of her right hand, and the doctors predicted that she would need close to 15 operations to fix the burns and save her life. Turia remained comatose for two months where she underwent the life-changing surgeries. After, she had to endure wearing compression stockings as she continued to undergo a score of procedures.
Before the fire occurred, Ms. Turia had been in a stable relationship with boyfriend Michael, who stuck by her side throughout the ordeal. When asked if he ever considered leaving Turia owing to her appearance that had now changed drastically, Michael responded by reiterating that he had fallen in love with the girl and not her looks.
Micheal eventually quit his job to become Turia’s sole caretaker after Turia lost the ability to take care of herself before her recovery. Despite the setbacks, the long-term couple’s relationship remained firm, and as a result, the couple celebrated the announcement of their engagement in July 2015. Michael proposed with a ring that he had purchased during her hospitalization at the Intensive Care Unit in 2011.
Today, Turia is an inspirational speaker, having headlined various speaking opportunities designed to inspire people. Additionally, in June 2014, she also raised over $175,000AUD for a charitable organization known as Interplast that is made up of a team of volunteer medical officers that provide free surgery to people suffering from medical conditions such as cleft lip, as well as burn victims in various parts of Asia.