A schoolboy who had been in a three-week coma woke up after his mother brought his favourite Lynx deodorant into intensive care.
Kacper Krauze, 13, got into difficulty while paddling with friends in the River Eden, Cumbria, in February of this year.
Unable to swim, he ended up completely submerged in the freezing water for 25 minutes, according to witnesses.
His lifeless body was eventually pulled from the river by emergency services, when medics from the Great North Air Ambulance worked to restart his heart.
He was brought back to life on the way to hospital, but was fighting for his life in a coma after being starved of oxygen because of his ordeal.
It wasn’t until his mother, Wioletta Krauze, brought the deodorant he used every day into the intensive care unit that Kacper woke up.
Mrs Krauze, 43, of Appleby, Cumbria, said: ‘It was a miracle.
‘We had tried everything to wake him up. A nurse had suggested I bring in some of his toiletries to wash him with.
‘As soon as I spayed the Lynx he opened his eyes immediately. He must have remembered that was his favourite smell.
‘He has always absolutely loved Lynx and he still wears it to this day.
‘We had tried so hard to get him to wake up from his coma. We had played music, we had spent hours talking to him.’
Mrs Krauze added: ‘But in the end it was the Lynx which did it. I just couldn’t believe it.’
Families are recommended to stimulate the senses of those in a coma by talking to them, holding their hand, playing music and spraying familiar scents.
Research suggests that it reduces the time taken for someone to wake up, and in some cases it has taken an individual memory, smell or sound to suddenly arouse the patient.
On the day of Kacper’s incident, Mrs Krauze and her taxi driver husband Marek, 50, got a panicked phone call from someone in their town to say their son was in difficulty in the water.
It is understood Kacper fell into the water while paddling with friends because he was in shock at the freezing temperatures.
Kacper cannot swim, and so he quickly got into difficulty. However, the details of what exactly happened are unclear.
Mrs Krauze, who is also mother to Karol, 19, said: ‘We ran to the car and raced to the river. When we arrived Marek and Karol waded into the river to try to find him. I was crying and screaming.
‘Somebody called the fire brigade and it was a fireman who jumped in the river and pulled him out.
‘He had been in the water for a really, really long time. He had drowned.
‘They told us later that in the air ambulance a doctor gave him another electric shock and after four electric shocks they could finally feel a pulse.
‘He had been brought back to life but he remained in a coma. His condition was very, very bad, I was praying like mad.’
A coma is a state of unconsciousness where a person is unresponsive and cannot be woken.
It can result from injury to the brain, such as a severe head injury, stroke, severe alcohol poisoning or a brain infection.
In Kacper’s case, it was caused by a lack of oxygen due to drowning, which sufferers of a heart attack may also experience.
Kacper was taken to Freeman Hospital in Newcastle where he remained in intensive care.
Mrs Krauze said: ‘We were next to him all the time, all the time. But it took a can of Lynx to bring him round.
‘Kacper still struggles a little with his speech and using his right hand but apart from that he has made a full recovery.’
Kacper said: ‘I am really grateful to all the doctors, nurses and the Great North Air Ambulance for saving my life.
‘I have always absolutely loved Lynx. It’s my favourite smell. It always has been. I never thought it would bring me round from a coma.
‘I will continue to wear it now, always. It’s my lucky charm.’