Two months ago Clem Fennell was fading fast.
The victim of an aggressive type of dementia, the 57-year-old businessmen was unable to answer the phone, order a meal or string more than a couple of words together.
In desperation, his family agreed to try a revolutionary new treatment - a bizarre-looking, experimental helmet devised by a British GP that bathes the brain in infra-red light twice a day.
To their astonishment, Mr Fennel began to make an astonishing recovery in just three weeks.
Dr Gordon Dougal, a GP from County Durham, treated dementia patient Clem Fennell with his infra-red device
"My husband, Clem, was fading away. It is as if he is back" said his wife Vickey Fennell, 55. "His personality has started to show again. We are absolutely thrilled."
While the helmet has yet to be proven in clinical trials, the family say the effects of the 10 minute sessions are incredible. Mr Fennell can now hold conversations and go shopping unaccompanied.
The treatment is the brainchild of Dr Gordon Dougal, a County Durham GP. He believes the device could eventually help thousands of dementia patients.