Ultramarathon runner and burns survivor Turia Pitt has turned her focus to raising funds for a charity which helps patients in developing countries.
In 2011, while running an ultra marathon through the Kimberley in Western Australia, Ms Pitt was trapped by a grassfire, unable to be rescued for four hours.
After suffering catastrophic burns to 65 per cent of her body, Ms Pitt has become a national hero.
“If I’d watched myself on TV, before my accident, I would have thought there’s no way I could do what that girl is doing,” Ms Pitt told Deborah Knight on 702 ABC Sydney.
“And yet, it’s in those times of trauma you find those reserves of inner strength.”
Rather than focusing on the scars covering her body, she says that the tragic accident may have been the best thing to happen to her.
“A lot of people find it kind of bizarre, but my life is incredible,” she said
“I’ve got an amazing partner, beautiful family and friends. I live in one of the best places in Australia in Ulladulla.
“So when people say they feel sorry for me, I don’t really get it. I don’t feel sorry for myself at all.”
As well as the extensive burns, she also had four fingers from her left hand and right thumb amputated.
Ms Pitt’s burns were so horrific, a paramedic from her hometown failed to recognise her when she first arrived on the scene of the fire.
“I said to her ‘hey Bonnie, how are you?’ and she just gave me a blank look because she didn’t even recognise me.
“When I said ‘it’s me, it’s Turia’, I noticed a tear start rolling down her face.
“I guess a part of me thought I’d be back at work on Monday, but a part of me knew that my life would never be quite the same again,” Ms Pitt said.
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Since then, Ms Pitt has had more than 200 operations, including her most recent during which doctors removed skin from her forehead to construct a new nose.
She estimates she will need four major operations a year for the next decade, but for now, she feels blessed to be independent again.
Especially when it comes to her relationship with partner Michael Hoskin.
“For over three years, Michael was my full-time carer, and that took an enormous toll on our relationship,” Ms Pitt said.