KRAKOW, Poland (AP) — Just weeks ago he was near death, with almost no heart beat and body temperature at 12.7 degrees Celsius (55F.)
On Thursday, little Adam, the Polish toddler found last year in sub-freezing temperatures, left the hospital, walking by his mom's side, his life saved by a string of professionals.
"We feel extremely lucky that we can go back home with our son, who is almost fully able-bodied again," said the boy's mother, identified only as Paulina.
Adam — aged 2 years 6 months— still needs rehabilitation at home, but his condition is "all that we were hoping for," said Janusz Skalski, a children's heart surgeon who oversaw bringing the boy back from deep hypothermia at the children's hospital in Krakow, in southern Poland.
Adam "plays, frolics, runs, he can even be unruly," Skalski told reporters. "He behaves exactly the way he should behave."
He said Adam's ordeal did not affect his intellectual development.
At a news conference before leaving the hospital, Adam walked by himself — some movements a bit exaggerated — and played with small toys and a mobile phone, even though his fingers are still a little cramped. Rehabilitation was needed to restore his ability to walk and hold objects that was lost when the freeze damaged his nerves.
Anna Swierczynska, the head of the rehabilitation team, said a lot of work was put into Adam's rehabilitation. The arduous exercises had to be done in the form of games and play to make the lively boy repeat them, she said.
Adam's heartbeat was one every 30 or more seconds when he was brought to the children's hospital on Nov. 30. A policeman found him, with almost no clothes on, lying unconscious by a creek he had apparently crossed after sneaking out at night from his grandmother's house in the village of Raclawice, near Krakow.