Woman Wakes From Coma After Volcano, Gets Tragic News

Severely burned Lisa Dallow finds out husband, 15-year-old daughter died in NZ disaster
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2020 6:40 AM CST
Woman Emerges From Coma, Learns Volcano Killed Family
In this Dec. 11, 2019, file photo, plumes of steam rise above White Island off the coast of Whakatane, New Zealand.   (AP Photo/Mark Baker, File)

Bittersweet news out of Australia, where a woman severely burned in the eruption of the White Island volcano in New Zealand finally awoke from her coma—only to find out her family had died in the disaster. A rep for the family tells the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that 48-year-old engineer Lisa Dallow came out of an induced coma in a Melbourne hospital and was told her husband, 53-year-old Gavin Dallow, and only daughter, Zoe Hosking, 15, died in the Dec. 9 disaster that killed 21. "It took a while for it to sink in, and then she just kept saying she can't believe they had died," a family spokeswoman told News Corp, via 9News. Per the New Zealand Herald, the Dallow family was informed Gavin Dallow died while on a helicopter transporting victims off the island. Zoe's body, meanwhile, was discovered days after the eruption during a recovery mission sent to the island.

Lisa Dallow is in serious but stable condition, suffering from burns to nearly 60% of her body. "She is burnt from head to toe all on her back," Dallow's sister-in-law, Meredith Dallow, says. "The only part of her body that is not bandaged is her face." Gavin Dallow's funeral already took place, last month, but the family had delayed Zoe's services so his wife might be able to attend. Even though that memorial is still weeks away, however, Dallow's injuries are so serious she won't be able to go to that one, either. "All she can do is watch the video," says Meredith Dallow, though she adds that at least Lisa Dallow will have some hand in planning her daughter's service. Lisa Dallow has told family members all she can recall from the tragedy is the volcano erupting, telling everyone to start running, and then rocks hitting her back. The next thing she remembers is waking up in the hospital. (More New Zealand stories.)

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