Res­cued Thai boys make vic­tory signs from hos­pi­tal beds

Journal Pioneer - - WORLD - MAE SAI, THAI­LAND

The 12 boys res­cued from deep within a flooded cave in north­ern Thai­land made two-fin­ger vic­tory signs from their hos­pi­tal beds on Wed­nes­day in a mov­ing video from the iso­la­tion ward where they’re re­cu­per­at­ing from their 18-day ordeal. The youngest, 11, ap­peared asleep un­der a crisp white sheet. Oth­ers, in­clud­ing their 25-yearold soc­cer coach, who had been trapped in the cave along with the boys, sat in bed, their faces ob­scured by green sur­gi­cal masks. Nurses chat­ted with them and the boys re­sponded with the cus­tom­ary Thai sign of re­spect - hands pressed to­gether while bow­ing the head. Par­ents watched and waved from be­hind a glass bar­rier, their faces vivid with emo­tion. “Don’t need to worry about their phys­i­cal health and even more so for their men­tal health,” said Chai­wetch Thana­paisal, di­rec­tor of Chi­ang Rai Prachanukroh Hos­pi­tal. “Ev­ery­one is strong in mind and heart,” he said at a news con­fer­ence of of­fi­cials in­volved in the high-risk res­cue ef­fort. The four boys and soc­cer coach brought out Tues­day on the fi­nal day of an all-out three-day push to save all of them had re­cov­ered more quickly than the boys res­cued on Sun­day and Mon­day, Chai­wetch said. Even so, all need to be mon­i­tored in the hos­pi­tal for seven days and then rest at home for an­other 30 days, he said. Three have slight lung in­fec­tions. An­other video re­leased on Face­book by the Thai Navy SEALs, who were cen­tral to the res­cue, ap­par­ently shows one of the boys be­ing car­ried through part of the muddy cave on a stretcher cov­ered by an emer­gency ther­mal blan­ket. The SEALs com­man­der, Rear Adm. Apakorn Youkongkae, said the boys’ coach, Ekkapol Chanta­wong, told SEALs the or­der the boys should be res­cued in. “I haven’t asked the coach yet why he chose that or­der,” he said. “The coach was the one to choose.” The group had en­tered the sprawl­ing Tham Luang cave to go ex­plor­ing af­ter soc­cer prac­tice on June 23, but mon­soon rains soon filled the tight pas­sage­ways, block­ing their es­cape. They were found by a pair of Bri­tish divers nearly 10 days later, hud­dled on a small, dry shelf just above the wa­ter, smil­ing with re­lief but vis­i­bly skinny. The com­plex mis­sion for in­ter­na­tional and Thai divers to guide the boys and coach through the cave’s flooded pas­sage­ways riv­eted peo­ple world­wide. High­light­ing the dan­gers, a former Thai navy SEAL vol­un­teer­ing to work on the res­cue ef­fort died Fri­day while re­plen­ish­ing oxy­gen can­is­ters that were placed along the es­cape route. Narongsak Osa­tanakorn, the of­fi­cial oversee­ing the res­cue op­er­a­tion, said the boys should not be blamed for their near tragedy. He lauded the co-op­er­a­tion be­tween Thai and in­ter­na­tional res­cuers. “The sit­u­a­tion went be­yond just be­ing a res­cue mis­sion and be­came a sym­bol of unity among mankind,” he said. “Ev­ery­one worked to­gether without dis­crim­i­na­tion of race or re­li­gion as the ul­ti­mate goal was to save the youth foot­ball team.” Of­fi­cials plan an in­ter­ac­tive mu­seum at Tham Luang based on the his­toric res­cue mis­sion that will fea­ture items such as cloth­ing that key res­cuers wore dur­ing the op­er­a­tion, Narongsak said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.