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Boy wakes after 13 days in coma

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WINNIPEG—Family members say it’s a miracle an eight-year-old Manitoba boy who nearly drowned in a flooded culvert has awoken from a 13-day coma.

Samuel Gross was playing with friends on Westroc Hutterite Colony, northwest of Portage La Prairie, when he was sucked into a culvert.

His cousin pulled him out of the freezing water, where he had been under for 20 minutes.

Samuel had no pulse when he was flown by helicopter to Children’s Hospital in Winnipeg, and doctors spent two hours doing CPR on him.

His family kept a bedside vigil as the blue-eyed, blond-haired youngster lay unconscious and on life support.

On Wednesday, to the delight of his parents, he opened his eyes and said, “Ouch.”

“Overwhelmed that our prayers have been answered,” his father, Robert Gross, said when asked how he felt.

After lots of hugs and kisses, his parents started asking him things.

“He knew my phone number, he knew how old he was, when his birthday was, things that you would say is complicated to remember to come out of something like that,” his dad said.

Murray Kesselman, medical director of the pediatric intensive care unit, explained why the boy has no ill effects.

“He had become very cold while he was in the water before he submerged and the extreme cold allowed his brain to cool and this is what protected him and allowed him to recover in the end,” Kesselman said.

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