Turia Pitt Announced as Interplast’s Ambassador!

Interplast is so proud to welcome Turia Pitt as our official ambassador! Announced at the recent 30th anniversary celebrations in Sydney, Turia was introduced to Interplast by her burns surgeons, long-serving Interplast volunteers, Associate Professor Peter Haertsch and Professor Peter Maitz, while receiving treatment at Sydney’s Concord Repatriation General Hospital two years ago.

In 2011, Turia suffered horrific burns to 65 per cent of her body when she was trapped by a grass fire in a 100 kilometre ultra-marathon in Western Australia. On her deathbed, she lay in a medically-induced coma for one month. She fought for her life against extraordinary odds, she lost the fingers on her right hand, she underwent numerous surgeries and had to learn how to walk and talk again. She’s a survivor. And, she’s also now a supporter, ambassador, fundraiser and advocate for Interplast: “I realised that life could still be great for me. And slowly, bit by bit, I began to feel lucky. Lucky I was alive. Lucky I didn’t lose my hands and feet, my hair, my eyes. Lucky because by pure chance, I happened to belong to one of the best countries in the world – Australia! And the more I thought about the brilliant medical treatment that I was fortunate enough to receive, the more I thought about the disturbing paradox that is our world today – how do people, who survive on little more than $1 a day, have access to the level of medical care that I had? This is where Interplast steps in.”

Speaking at our 30th anniversary cocktail party, which served as a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our supporters and acknowledge our valuable volunteers, Turia’s engaging speech captivated the audience. Using the opportunity to announce her challenging fundraising adventure – completing a section of the Great Wall of China in June 2014 to raise money for Interplast – her incredible strength and willingness to help others certainly stood out. “I feel really honoured and privileged to be an ambassador for Interplast,” she explained. “When I was in hospital, I felt really sorry for myself, and then I just stopped feeling sorry for myself and I was just like, ‘You live in the best country in the world, you’ve had everything given to you, you’ve had the best medical treatment,’ and I just thought that there are kids in developing countries who don’t get that level of care. If I had been born in a different country, I probably would have died and if not, I certainly wouldn’t have the quality of life that I have now. In Australia, if you’ve got a problem, it gets fixed up. And, in developing countries, if you’ve got a problem, it’s often left untreated for a year, 10 years, sometimes a lifetime! That’s why I support Interplast!”

If you’d like to support Turia’s Great Wall of China Challenge, simply click here. And, if you’d like to learn more about this challenge, watch the video below:

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