Everything to Live For
Turia Pitt with Libby Harkness
A William Heinemann book
Random House Australia
ISBN: 978 085798 026 7
Everything to Live For is the story of one young woman’s survival against extraordinary odds, a testament to the human spirit. In September 2011, Turia Pitt, a beautiful 25 – year – old mining engineer working her dream job in the far north of Western Australia, entered an ultra – marathon race that would change her life forever. Trapped by a fire in a gorge in the remote Kimberly region, Turia and five other competitors had nowhere to run. Turia escaped with catastrophic burns to 65 per cent of her body.
Battle up[on battle has followed: first to survive, next to adapt – to the remnants of her face, the loss of her fingers, daily therapy, endless operations – and then justice. Because the race should never have happened. Turia’s fight with the race organisers is ongoing.
Everything to Live For explores Turia’s journey and the web of people and events around it. It is a study of strength – of Turia will; of the love of her partner, Michael, and the couple’s families; and of the support from their community in Ulladulla, New South Wales, who have rallied, raising funds to help with huge medical bills.
It is a miracle Turia lived when she was expected to die. But Turia was not ready to die – she had too much to live for.
This is an amazing story of courage and a demonstration of inner strength and wonderful family and community support. I was moved by this story and want to applaud the many people involved in the initial rescue and aid supplied by those first on the scene – the fellow competitors, the helicopter crew… their demonstration of courage and determination to rescue/assist the victims of this fire in such adverse conditions is commendable.
This is a story of which many people (and in particular, Western Australians) are familiar with, through the media coverage of the disaster at the time. What we weren’t privy to is the huge physical and mental challenges a burn’s survivor faces; the many operations, the huge changes to the survivor’s life – survivors of severe burns require years of treatment and support. Turia is a survivor – not a victim – that is very clear. Turia’s story is one of unconditional family love and by family I include her boyfriend, close friends, extended family and community; Turia truly does have everything to live for and her inner strength shines through these pages.