Whakaari tour guide’s brother, Hayden Marshall-Inman, raises money for burns units.
The brother of a Whakaari/White Island tour guide who died in the eruption sees the glass half full after raising $75,000 for charity in, technically, two days.
Whakaari Hayden Marshall-Inman Memorial Golf Tournament
is an annual fundraiser for a golf tournament aimed at connecting the community and giving back.
In 2020, 130 golfers helped raise $32,000 for St John Eastern Bay.
The 2021 tournament, played this year due to Covid-related delays, raised $40,000 for the National Burns Service.
It was the brainchild of Mark Inman and his friend. Inman is the brother of tour guide Marshall-Inman, who was among 22 people who died when Whakaari/White Island erupted on December 9, 2019. His body was never found.
Two eruption survivors have a say in how the money will be spent and want it to be used for wider major burns education after their hospital experiences.
Inman said his brother’s generous nature was a big part of the motivation behind the fundraiser.
He said it was a chance to celebrate those who are still here, the memories of those who have died, and to make a difference in times to come.
“Quite often you get caught up in the negative side of things…and it’s not going to make anything or anything better going forward.”
The annual fundraiser takes place on the Friday closest to December 9th at Ohope Beach Golf Links. The route offers a view of Whakaari and the east coast, where Tīpene Maangi, who also died in the eruption, came from.
Inman said much of the community involved on the day of the eruption, such as first responders and skippers, joined the event.
“It’s rehabilitation for the community…it’s a great way to get together and check everyone in.”
Inman said many generous sponsors were key to the amount raised as everything was donated – a Tame Iti artwork raised $10,000.
Inman said there was a sense of community from the moment of the eruption, describing a nurse who went to a local supermarket the same day, grabbed all the plastic wrap and ran away, saying she would pay later.
“We’re lucky in the support that everyone continues to give… That’s part of why we’re having this event. To remind us how lucky we are to be where we live.”
The next golf fundraiser will take place on December 9 and will raise money for the local fire department.
There were 47 people on the volcano when it erupted. Most were international tourists.
Survivor Kelsey Waghorn, who was tour guide that day, said it was “really humbling” to see the success of the fundraiser.
“To be able to give it to the people who kept us alive, who were there when we cried and screamed in pain, and left crying because we were upset – it’s nice to be able to give back.”
She had been a guide for five years, after signing up for a summer job and then falling in love with it.
She remembers thinking the day of the eruption, “I’m not going to survive this.
“It was our absolute worst-case scenario. It was an eruption with a pyroclastic flow.”
According to GeoNet, pyroclastic flows often travel up to 200 km/h, reach temperatures of several hundred degrees Celsius and are the “most destructive manifestations of volcanic activity”.
Waghorn, who had burns on 45% of his body, said education and training of young employees on severe burns at the regional level and training of district nurses was needed.
She was based at Hutt Hospital’s burn unit and said younger staff had not seen any burns over 30 per cent coverage.
She said she was physically fine and believed she was awaiting another surgery.
“I hope that’s it, but I think I said that for the last three surgeries.”
His friendship with fellow tour guide Jake Milbank also grew stronger during this time.
He suffered burns to 80 per cent of his body and was based at the burns unit at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland for four months. He is now back to doing things he loves like fishing and hunting.
They joked that their friendship was “compulsory” because they were the only ones who could understand what the other was going through.
“It’s nice to be together because you feel really isolated,” Waghorn said.
The couple said leaving their burn units was “very weird”.
“Once you got home, you really realized how much you couldn’t do,” Milbank said.
Things like showering, cutting food, tying a shoelace, and fighting over compression garments. It was a big day when they were no longer needed, he said.
In November 2020, WorkSafe announced that it was bringing charges against 13 organizations and individuals in connection with the eruption.
Waghorn said it was hard to move on.
“Every week it’s in the news again…it continues to block the recovery.”
National Burns Service coordinator Tracey Perrett was “blown away” by the funds and said Waghorn and Milbank’s contribution to how the money was spent was a priority.
She said it cost about $700 to send a person to a one-day burn emergency management course, and the burn rehabilitation course cost about $400 per person.
“It will go a long way… We will be able to train a lot of people from across the country.”
Perrett said developing and retaining staff in the four regional burn units and at every stage of the patient journey is important.
Regional burn units are based at Auckland’s Middlemore Hospital, Waikato Hospital, Hutt Hospital and Christchurch Hospital.
She said education should start in small communities. Some ER doctors may never see a big burn, and classes had to prepare them.
She said the service held courses for first responders and hospital staff on the first 24 hours of burn care, and training for staff in communities that weren’t as prone to large burns.
Perrett remembered the first phone call the day of the eruption.
She was told that people were arriving by boat and that she thought the burns may have been minor. She was wrong.
She said Whakaari was a year’s worth of work in a day and “there was a lot of holy molys.”
The staff had done burn paper exercises to so many people, and although they had an idea of what was needed, they had never seen anything like it.