A quick-thinking boy of 11 rubbed snow on to his screaming mum after she scalded herself on her car radiator.
Tommy Kane acted on the spur of the moment after his mother Debbie Pyett, 41, from Hertfordshire, was seriously burned in the terrifying freak accident.
Debbie has hailed her son a little hero after he saved her from having to undergo painful plastic surgery and skin grafts.
Super-cool Tommy leapt into action after the expansion tank lid of Debbie's black BMW blew off, splashing red-hot water onto her face, right arm and hand.
Proud Debbie said: "Doctors said that had it not have been for Tommy putting snow on me there could have been further damage. I would have had to have skin grafts and even plastic surgery to my face.
"I am so proud of him. When I asked him what made him think of doing that, he said, 'mum it's simple, the water was hot and the snow was cold, it just makes sense'. Had it not have been for him it could have been a whole lot worse."
The terrifying drama happened on the A505 between Royston and Baldock as Debbie and Tommy drove to an appointment in Stevenage.
"My car started to make funny noises and all of a sudden the temperature gauge shot up, so I pulled over on the hard shoulder to check what the problem was," explained Debbie. "Tommy came out of the car with me and was standing to the side of the car while I checked what the issue was."
The radiator lid blew off, hurling boiling water onto her, as she lifted up the bonnet. Stunned Debbie began screaming as her skin started to peel off:
"The sleeve of my coat was burning and I could feel my skin peeling on my face too."Tommy helped me roll up my sleeve. I then tried to call my dad and sister and while I was doing that Tommy had began gathering as much snow as he could.
"I didn't know what he was doing. I was too worried about getting him to the appointment in Stevenage, which we had waited two years for. Tommy told me to stay still and he just kept running to the side and picking up as much snow as he could and patting it everywhere - he was so amazingly calm."
Ice-cool Tommy pressed the snow on to his mum's burns until paramedics arrived at the scene and Debbie was taken to Lister Hospital, Stevenage, for emergency treatment.
A surgeon for The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, Nilesh Sojitra, said:
"The little boy's quick thinking effectively cooled down the heated area which will have limited the depth of damage which could have been caused by the burn.
"Burning can cause scarring and hopefully by applying the cold ice he will have reduced this significantly avoiding any skin graft which would have been required."
Well done, Tommy!