By Doug Wright
If Turia Pitt’s last few years were described in a novel, most readers would find her story hard to believe. And yet, this indomitable woman has survived against overwhelming odds, now devoting her life to humanitarian and motivational work.
Turia Pitt was competing in an ultra-marathon through Western Australia’s Kimberley region in September 2011 when she was trapped in a bushfire. She suffered burns to 65% of her body and had four fingers on her left hand and her right thumb amputated. She was told she would never run again.
Her recovery was long, painful and debilitating. She wore a compression stocking for almost two years and is still having surgery to repair her facial features and improve the worst effects of the scarring. And now, after spending 864 days in the hospital and undergoing more than 100 surgeries to treat her injuries, Turia has made it her mission to champion the cause of Interplast, a charity which provides free reconstructive surgery for children in developing countries. She is now an Ambassador for Interplast Australia and New Zealand.
“Turia inspires people everywhere to develop their full potential.”
In 2014, she was named the New South Wales Premier’s Woman of the Year 2014, and was also a finalist for Young Australian of the Year. Now, as an author and humanitarian and motivational speaker, Turia inspires people everywhere to develop their full potential.
On 8 May 2016, Turia completed her first Ironman Australia competition in Port Macquarie. In this Ironman competition, she had to complete a 3.8-kilometre swim, an 180-kilometre cycle, and 42.2-kilometre run and did so in a total of 13 hours and 24 minutes. She never doubted that she would cross the finish line.
“Anything is possible if you never ever give up.”
“I kind of just got in my zone and didn’t really think about the big picture. I just broke it down into little chunks, I just thought about getting to the next station.” As she has often said, “Anything is possible, if you never ever give up.”
Most of us would quail even at the thought of such a punishing sporting regime – and that after injuries which would fell the most optimistic and fittest athlete. And still, she continues to run and compete in various challenges.
After recent facial surgery, she felt terribly self-conscious. But, true to spirit, Turia talked herself into a positive frame of mind. “This week I felt it big time, and yeah, it sucks. But you know what? Sometimes in life when you’re on a quest to improve yourself, no one else’s opinion or judgment matters. You’ve got to own yourself and wear your challenges like a boss – after all, no one else is going to do it for you.”
That sums the woman up. From promising careers in engineering and modelling to training for Iron Man events and travelling the world giving motivational speeches, Turia has done it all with passion and flair. She is a true example of a woman who has never ever given up.
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Doug Wright, is a transformed survivor of a head-on near death vehicle collision.
Passionate about helping people overcome their innermost fears, especially when recovering from trauma, Doug has survived to share his courageous story … his motto is “never give up”.
Away from his everyday activities, Doug invests his spare time playing his electric guitar, knocking out an eclectic mix of Eagles hits and fishing for coral trout in Airlee Beach, Northern Queensland.