NZ volcano tour guide shares recovery

Ben McKay
A guide badly burned in NZ's volcanic eruption says her body has been going 'full tilt' to recover

A critically injured Kiwi tour guide is regaining the use of her hands after "huge progress" in the two months since the deadly White Island volcano eruption.

Kelsey Waghorn was showing tourists around the New Zealand tourist attraction, also known as Whakaari, on December 9 when it erupted.

The 25-year-old suffered burns to almost half of her body, and has endured multiple grafting procedures to her arms, hands, stomach, legs, lower back and upper thighs.

In an update to her fundraising page, Waghorn said she was "covered in scars and relocated skin, and that's okay with me".

"Monday marks 9 weeks since Whakaari decided she would clear her throat. 9 weeks since I received full thickness burns to about 45 per cent of my body. 9 weeks since I lost work colleagues and good friends," she said.

"My body has been going full-tilt since ... my heart rate whilst in my five-day coma was 157 (beats per minute). Nowadays, it's still around 100.

"Everything is healing twice as fast as anyone predicted, and although I have my moments, I am proud of the huge progress I have made."

The "givealittle" fundraising page set up for Waghorn has yielded $NZ108,752 ($A104,550) from 1823 donors.

Waghorn, a marine biologist, thanked her carers and family, saying there had been "a lot of blood, sweat and tears put into getting me where I am today".

"I am fairly mobile now, albeit wobbly and minus some strength," she said.

"I am slowly regaining the use of both of my hands - my right is worse than my left. But I'm working on that everyday ... I'm doing really well."

The eruption has killed 21 people to date, including 14 Australians.

Another 26 were injured by the deadly ash clouds, with many still in hospitals in Australia, New Zealand and the United States recovering from their burns and other injuries.