American woman Kirsten Steinke, critically hurt in a King Country car crash which killed her newlywed husband in September, is being prepared to move back home.
Ms Steinke, 28, was critically injured in the September 20 crash at the Waitomo Caves turn-off on State Highway 3, between Otorohanga and Te Kuiti, which took the life of her new husband Kallan Stithem.
She was in Waikato Hospital's intensive care unit for more than two weeks but was moved to its high dependency unit two weeks ago after she began responding to the voices of her parents Jim and Gerri Steinke at her bedside.
Her condition has continued to improve to the point where she is much stronger and more independent and she has now been moved to a quieter ward in preparation for a move back to the United States, her parents said.
"Plans are being made to return her home in the near future," they said in a statement.
"Thank you all your prayers, support, and caring."
Ms Steinke has received numerous emails, letters and messages at the hospital.
Ms Steinke and Mr Stithem were on their honeymoon when the crash happened.
Police say the car they were travelling in failed to give way as it was leaving Waitomo Caves Road, turning right into the path of a northbound truck.