11 Oct 2015

Raro mower accident victim improving

7:46 pm on 11 October 2015

A New Zealand woman who was airlifted from Rarotonga after she suffered severe burns, is now out of an induced coma.

Nikki Delaney, was mowing the lawns when the mower caught fire, causing serious burns to her upper body.

The 31-year-old was flown back to Auckland's Middlemore Hospital on Saturday morning and is now talking with family who are at her bedside.

Her brother, Jordan Delaney, said his sister was conscious and able to take fluids.

"She's still heavily sedated, but trying to talk," he said.

"We're extremely stoked to have her awake."

The family is now trying to raise funds to pay back the $58,000 it cost to fly Nikki home, although that could increase.

Mr Delaney said he was humbled by the $20,000 which had been donated to the Givealittle page.

"I'm lost for words. The New Zealand population is just amazing. I don't think you'd get that anywhere else in the world. People that are just so giving, without any questions. We're just getting floods of messages coming through from people we don't even know," he said.

"We're just extremely grateful for the support in New Zealand everyone has been giving us."

Mr Delaney said his sister had spent the past six years working between Wellington and Rarotonga, but had let her medical and travel insurance lapse.

He said if there were lessons to be learnt from the experience it was how important it was to keep insurance premiums up to date.

"I guess you become complacent in a way. You forget about things like that, because you've got your own things going on, let alone little insurances like that," he said.