TURIA Pitt has taken the next big step in her recovery – removing her mask for the first time in public.
To help smooth scar tissue, Turia has worn the mask 23 hours a day for two years but was happy to unveil her face for the first time for television show 60 Minutes.
In a story broadcast on Sunday, August 25, and available online at sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com.au, Turia shared the latest step in her recovery with partner Michael Hoskins by her side, and said she was proud of how far she had come.
Having regained her mobility and independence, the determined young woman is facing up to her changed appearance.
“I think I might burn the mask,” Turia told 60 Minutes.
Taking off the mask was a big step in her recovery and Turia is looking at her options for further facial reconstruction.
“Well, when I look at photos from before I just think you know, bloody hell I was really good looking and I’m a really determined person so I’ll try and get as much of that back as I can,” she said.
“Yeah, I’m not just going to accept the way things are now and say ‘Oh this is me for the rest of my life,’ no way.”
But before jumping in to any big decisions, she and Michael are just happy to be able to enjoy some happy moments together after all they have been through.
It has not only been tough for Turia, the whole ordeal has been difficult for Michael, who has been by Turia’s side every step of the way.
“It was like you were thrown in the flames of hell,” he told Turia during the interview.
“You’ve had to crawl your way back.
“And I don’t know why you had to go there, because you’re such a good person. But, but you’ve been there.”
The pair is also still pursuing legal action against the organisers of the Kimberly ultramarathon, Racing the Planet.
“There’s no amount of money in the world that could make up for what we’ve lost,” Turia said.
“But we’re just, you know, we’re just getting on with our lives.”
Part of getting on with their lives will be a long holiday so the pair can just enjoy being a couple together, away from the pressures they have faced for the past two years.
After a break, the pair will return to work, and hope to start a family down the track.
“We’re going on holiday for six months, two years, who knows?
“That’ll be just that time for us to have fun as boyfriend and girlfriend,” Turia said.
“We want to have a bit of fun - like we’ve had two really hard years.
“But they’re the hardest years of our life.
“We know that kids are tough, but we don’t think it’ll be that hard compared to what we’ve been through. But who knows?”
No matter what the future holds, the one thing both Turia and Michael are sure about is how happy they are just to be together.
“I feel really lucky to have him,” Turia said.
Michael agrees - “What do you say? I’m stoked she’s alive”.
Turia will take time to celebrate her recovery with locals when she launches her book Everything to Live For, written with Libby Harkness.
The launch on Friday, September 6, is being held at St Mary’s School Hall in Milton with support from Harbour Bookstore in Ulladulla.
The event will kick off at 5.30pm for a 6pm official launch and will feature wine and canapés provided by local restaurants and businesses Bacchus, Bannisters, Ceto, Citrus, Cupitt's, Hayden's Pies, Mollymook Cellars, St Isidore, Tallwood and the Treehouse Connection.
Copies of Everything to Live For will be available on the night and at local bookstores.
Bookings for the launch are essential and can be made on 4454 4044.