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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.
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.