A talented sportsman injured in a backyard explosion nearly a fortnights ago is determined to get back on his feet and back to the sports he loves, his father says.
Ryan Chapman, 25, a former national age group rugby league representative and talented speedway driver, is recovering in Middlemore Hospital in Auckland after throwing methanol on a rubbish drum fire at his Rakaia property, causing an explosion which resulted in much of his body being burned.
He's undergone two operations which his father Gavin said had gone well.
The worst burns were to his legs while the damage to his upper body was mainly what had been described as bad sunburn.
Grafts have been completed to one of his legs, with the other to come.
Mr Chapman said Ryan, a builder, woke from an induced coma on Saturday morning and was now able to speak to his family.
He told them he remembered the ordeal and doesn't know what he was thinking of by throwing the methanol on the fire.
"He said you wouldn't believe the heat that came from it,'' Mr Chapman said.
He told his family he knew he had to protect his face when the explosion happened, and as a result the burns to his face were restricted to being like sunburn.
Ryan was put in a bath and members of the Rakaia Volunteer Fire Brigade used bottled water to sooth his burns, before the Westpac Rescue Helicopter arrived to take him to Christchurch Hospital.
From there he was transferred to Middlemore Hospital in Auckland.
Hospital staff now have him doing exercises to get movement back into his legs and his father said given his sporting background, Ryan knew what it took to get back to the top and would be determined to return to his life as soon as possible.
Ryan, who grew up in Christchurch, is a former national rugby league representative, who played for Halswell.
He toured Fiji with the under-13 Kiwis and going on to represent the under-16 Kiwis, playing alongside Sonny Bill Williams.
But when he moved to Rakaia, the trip to Halswell proved too much so he switched to rugby, playing for the Rakaia seniors until a couple of years ago.
And in spite of his burns, he could be back on the field one day.
"They said after his first operation that there's no reason why, in time, he can't be back playing rugby,'' Mr Chapman said.
He'd also followed his dad when it came to a love of motorsport and he was now a top speedway driver, racing three-quarter midgets, winning in his last outing at Ashburton Speedway in December.
But there will be no speedway or rugby for a while, with Ryan expected to spend a month or two in hospital recovering from his injuries.
He was remaining positive and his father said he was determined to get back to both speedway and rugby.
"But he will get frustrated though because he's the kind of person who likes to be doing things all the time,'' Mr Chapman said.