AFTER spending six weeks in a coma following a devastating traffic accident, things were looking bleak for Devbai Patel.
The mother-of-four was not responding to treatment and with desperation setting in doctors urged the Patel family to bring in her much-adored granddaughter Leela in the hope it would help her to wake her up.
The effect was immediate - poor Leela screamed on seeing her grandmother unconscious in hospital - and Mrs Patel opened her eyes, beginning a long and arduous journey back to health.
Now back at their Cairnfield Avenue home in Neasden, Mrs Patel, 56, and her husband Kunverji, 57, are able to reflect on her miraculous recovery, which has astonished doctors.
Mr Patel, who has given up his business interests to care for his wife, said: "It is nothing short of a miracle. We had tried everything - playing her music, talking to her and the doctors had reduced her sedatives by 50 per cent but still she did not respond. So we brought in Leela and she was completely shocked to see her grandma like that, so she screamed and as soon as she did my wife opened her eyes.
"It was a miracle that a little girl who loved her the most had woken her up.
"The doctors at the Royal London Hospital watched her recovery and they could not believe how quickly she got better once she had woken up. We were very thankful for them because they gave us hope."
Mrs Patel was walking along the North Circular Road on January 16 when a lorry collided with two other cars and left the road, striking her and ploughing into David King's Veterinary Surgery, killing the driver of the lorry.
Paramedics airlifted Mrs Patel to Royal London Hospital at Whitechapel, where she spent almost two months in intensive care surrounded by family.
At first many of Mrs Patel's immediate family were away around the world, including son Jack, 27, who was in Dubai, daughter Priti, 30, who was in China, and Mr Patel who was visiting Thailand.
Mr Patel said: "We all met at Heathrow and went straight to the hospital and we could not believe what we saw.
"We could not believe the accident had happened and that she was fighting for her life."
Mrs Patel underwent six operations including surgery on her brain, arms and stomach.
She said: "I do not remember anything about the accident. All my family have been a great strength to me, I love them very much. I'm glad to be home. There is nowhere like your own home."
Mrs Patel finally came home last month and was keen to thank her next door neighbours the Mulji family, who helped the Patels whenever they could and to everyone who prayed for her recovery, particularly at Hindu temples across Brent.
Leela, who is now two, visits her grandmother twice a week and to Mrs Patel's delight, her daughter Meena gave birth to a baby girl, Neve, almost two months ago.
The family now have high hopes for the future, despite the terrible experience of seeing Mrs Patel clinging to life and her painful rehabilitation ever since.
Mr Patel said: "We are praying to god that within a year she will recover fully.
"We are so glad she is home."
* A 41-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving on the day of the crash and released on police bail. Police said a file on the accident had been submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service for consideration.