When little Alex Logan lost his voice after gruelling chemotherapy, his devastated parents never thought they would ever hear him speak again.
The brave five-year-old had been left unable to speak after his battle for survival - until he got his voice back thanks to an ICE POP.
To the amazement of the doctors, who believed he had suffered brain damage, his voice came back after he swallowed a freezing cold ice pop, and his first words were: "I love you mummy."
His mum Deborah., 38, says: "I just burst into tears when I heard his voice. We never thought we were going to hear him speak again. It's all thanks to an ice pop. His throat had been so painful after the treatment he'd had that he'd been too frightened to speak because it hurt so much.
When he swallowed the ice pop it cooled and numbed his throat, so it gave him the confidence to speak again. I can't believe that an ice pop gave my son his voice back. It really is a miracle.
Little Alex first became ill in April 2010, a few months before his third birthday, when Deborah noticed bruises appearing on his legs:
"I'd noticed all these bruises appearing and at first I thought he was just banging himself as he regularly knocked into things.He was grumpy too and complained that his legs were hurting him. After a few days I started to get worried, as it wasn't like him. He was usually such a cheerful happy little boy."
Deborah took Alex to see her GP, who then referred him for blood tests. But the following morning he had to be rushed into hospital when he collapsed at the family home.
Deborah, a former police control room operator, says: "He came downstairs and he was staggering around and couldn't walk properly. He couldn't talk either, as he kept slurring his words. It was really frightening. I knew something was seriously wrong."
Deborah phoned an ambulance and Alex was rushed into Lincoln Hospital. Just a few hours later doctors had diagnosed him with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. His condition was so critical that the cancer had caused blood clots on his brain which was causing his slur his words.
"He had to start chemotherapy immediately as the amount of cancer cells in his blood was so high," says Deborah, who lives with husband Barrie, 38, a lab technician, and their other son Ben, seven, in Lincoln.
"One of the doctors told us afterwards that she went home that night thinking that we were never going to see Alex again. They didn't expect him to live through the night as he was so ill."
The following day he was sent down for a brain scan, and doctors warned his devastated parents that he might not even survive the scan.
"They warned us that he may not come back up from the scanning room as he could die. We thought we were going to lose him. Then we were told that even if he did survive, he would have severe disabilities. He had so many white cells that were trying to fight the cancer that his blood had turned to the consistency of treacle. The doctors had only seen one such severe case before and that patient had died."
Three days later, Alex was still fighting on, and doctors gave him a five per cent chance of survival.
"Even though it was still only a small chance, at least he had been given a small fighting chance," explains Deborah.
There was a glimmer of hope for him. The doctors were amazed he was still here at all.
After 10 days Alex was allowed out of the intensive care unit and carried on making progress. After 12 weeks of treatment, doctors finally delivered the news that his parents had been waiting for. His normal blood count was increasing, and the leukaemia cells were decreasing.
But there was one problem. Alex hadn't uttered a word since he was first admitted to hospital.
"We couldn't understand it," says Deborah. "He had been chattering away easily before he was diagnosed, but since he had been in hospital he hadn't uttered a word.
"The doctors told us not to expect him to start speaking again - they thought it was the result of brain damage he had suffered because of the blood clots on his brain."
At the end of July, just a few days before he was allowed home from hospital, Alex was given an ice pop to eat because it was so hot. Amazingly after he had eaten the frozen treat, he said his first words, "I love you mummy."
"We just couldn't believe it," says Deborah. "He started to talk and those were the first words he uttered. It was the most amazing thing to hear in the world. It brought tears to my eyes.
"To think that the doctors had told us he would never speak again, and now he was telling me he loved me. It just seemed like a miracle.The doctors couldn't believe it either, they had never expected it. They said that it had probably been because of the pain caused by putting his feeding tube down his throat into his stomach.
It meant that he had lost the confidence to speak. But the soothing and numbing of his throat caused by the ice pop had given him the confidence he needed that it wasn't going to hurt when he spoke.
Alex is now in remission, but he will continue having maintenance chemotherapy treatment until July 2013:
"He's back to normal now and its wonderful to see. There is no trace of the cancer coming back and he can live a normal life. He's chattering away again, just like he used to and its all thanks to a simple ice pop. It gave my son his voice back."
Words: Lucy Laing at Worldwide Features