Despite everything he has been through, White Island survivor Rick Reed gives a thumbs up just over a month after the deadly explosion happened.
His left hand - burned and bandaged - offers a small reflection of what life has been like over the past seven weeks since the December 9 incident, which left him with burns to 30 per cent of his body.
He and wife Ivy Kohn Reed - who suffered burns to her right leg, hands and face -
remain in the burns unit at Middlemore Hospital, in South Auckland.
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Both have had numerous surgeries, but their recovery is going so well they may be fit enough to fly home to the US as early as next week.
Barry Kohn, Ivy's brother, posted an update on the couple's GoFundMe fundraising page accompanied with a photo of himself and his brother-in-law.
Reed, wearing a hospital gown, smiles at the camera and gives a slight thumbs up as his brother-in-law takes the selfie.
"Monday - doctors examined the regrafts on [Rick's] ankles that had him on bed rest for 10 days.
"The results were all good and he has begun physical therapy to start walking again. Within three days, they have him standing and walking - slowly - on his own."
Ivy Kohn Reed is also said to be progressing well with her rehabilitation and has been working daily with her physical and occupational therapists, her brother wrote.
"If all continues to go well, there is a good chance they will be able to fly home some time next week!"
Barry Kohn earlier described how difficult it was to see his sister and brother-in-law for the first time when he arrived in New Zealand.
'NO ONE IS ACCUSTOMED TO SEEING THEIR LOVED ONES RECOVERING FROM VOLCANIC BURNS'
"It has been both heartbreaking and encouraging at the same time.
"I was taken aback when I first saw them with my own eyes - as no one is accustomed to seeing their loved ones laid up and recovering from volcanic burns."
He wrote that the pair's positive attitudes and healthy spirits had shone through and acknowledged how much that had been a help to everyone, as well as their recovery.
The American tourists have been recovering here since tragedy struck that Monday afternoon while on a White Island / Whakaari tour with a large group of other tourists, mainly from Australia.
The death toll was officially confirmed to be 20 yesterday after the chief coroner ruled that the last two people missing on the island had died.
Whakatāne local and White Island tour guide Hayden Marshall-Inman and Australian teenager Winona Langford, 17, were the only two bodies not recovered from the island after the tragedy.
Her parents, Anthony and Kristine Langford, also died in the explosion; while her 19-year-old brother Jesse suffered serious burns, but survived.