Elite cyclist Alexander Ray suffered a severe head injury after being hit by a car during an early morning training session.
Family and friends are now coming to grips with the Auckland man's recovery which is seeing them trumpet small wins, such as his eyes staying open for 30 seconds and movement coming back in his fingers.
They're gestures taken for granted by most of us but for those at his Auckland City Hospital bedside, they're huge.
Ray was left with many horrific serious injuries after being hit by a car at the intersection of Morningside Dr and New North Rd on Wednesday last week.
He was put in an induced coma battling a multitude of injuries including a collapsed lung, 28 breaks in his ribs, fractured eye, broken clavicle and scapula and open fracture of the jaw.
Friends have since set up a Go Fund Me page to help family with costs and state he had since moved from critical care to the hospital's neurological ward.
"He is off the breathing ventilator and breathing on his own, only receiving a humidifier. Reactions are improving and he has a lot more co-ordination reaching for his feeding tubes etc and his fingers are starting to clutch as well," friends wrote on his fundraising page.
Good friend and fellow high performance cyclist Roman Van Uden told the Herald today Ray had suffered a "severe head trauma".
However, he regained consciousness earlier this week.
"He's responding pretty well from to commands from nurses in regards to just pretty simple things still, squeezing the nurses' hands, his reactions are good, he's lifting both arms now, whereas a couple of days ago his eyes were open for about 30 seconds and he had a very vague look and would kind of look straight through you but yesterday he was starting to focus both eyes on you."
It was still unknown how severe the brain damage was and how long his rehabilitation would take.
"The doctors keep saying 'oh he's young, he's healthy' ... basically what they're saying is any parts of the brain that are damaged and dead the brain will have to retrain itself and send those signals and pathways somewhere else to re-learn, walking and talking. We don't know the extent until he's able to speak."
Ray currently had a tracheotomy inserted through his neck so he wasn't yet able to talk but there were still little wins emerging each day.
"Yesterday was a day ... when he gives you that vague look you think 'shit, there's not much going on there' but yesterday when he looked me in the eyes I felt like that was a huge step forward."
Van Uden said Ray had a big day ahead of him tomorrow with surgery set to focus on a fractured eye socket.
His face had taken the full brunt of the impact, he said.
Neither family or friends held a grudge against the driver from the crash. Conditions on the morning were not great - it had been raining and it was about 20 minutes prior to sunrise at the time - despite police confirming Ray was cycling through on a green light at the time.
"The conditions were not favourable to her," he said.
Van Uden thanked everybody who had donated money, baking, parking, even coffees to family and friends at Ray's bedside.
He was lucky that he had a job where he was able to spend the time at his mate's bedside. He wouldn't have it any other way.
"If the brain is working well and he's there on his own I can't stand to think of him being on his own so I just go and hang out ... if he knows I'm next to him that gives me some comfort at least."
It's not the first time Ray has had to fight for his life.
He was hit with a mystery illness just before he set off on the Tour of Southland 2016.
Initially it was thought it was the flu, then it was diagnosed as Leptospirosis, a condition in which his liver and kidney was shutting down, his skin turned yellow and proteins and muscles in his legs were being eaten by bacteria.
To donate to Alexander Ray head to: https://www.gofundme.com/helping-a-ray-alexander-ray