Guys, football coach appear in video messages after the rescue in a Thai cave: “Do not worry anymore”

The 12 children and their soccer coach who were recently rescued from a cave in northern Thailand have appeared in video messages from their hospital beds, in which each of them thanked officials and supporters for their help and support.

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Patient gowns and surgical masks, the children sat in their beds in a hospital in Chiang Rai province while individually giving brief statements, filmed on Friday and published by officials at a press conference on Saturday.

Adul Sam-on, 14, delivered his in English.

"Hi, I'm Adul," he said to the camera. "Now, I'm very well, I'm very grateful to help me, thank you very much."

The other children, who spoke in Thai, echoed Adul's feelings of gratitude and joy, and mentioned what foods they expected to eat.

"I'm healthy," said Panumas Saengdee, 13. "Thank you for caring about us and coming to help us, do not worry anymore, I'm safe now."

"I want to eat [crispy pork belly stir fry]," said Pornchai Kamluang, 16. "Thank you to everyone who supports and inspires us. We want to thank you."

"I'm healthy," said Sompong Jaiwong, 13. "I want to eat [stir-fried pork with basil and fried egg]I want to thank everyone who supports us and everyone from around the world who comes to help us." Thank you. "

The 25-year-old coach, Ekapol Chanthawong, thanked the doctors, the Royal Thai Navy and the prime minister.

"Now, I'm healthy as usual, I can eat normal," said Ekapol in Thai. "Thanks [everyone] that support us and every ministry that helps me".

  PHOTO: Members of the Wild Boars soccer team in a hospital in Chiang Rai, Thailand in a photo published by the government. Thai government through AFP / Getty Images
Members of the football team "Wild Boars" in a hospital in Chiang Rai, Thailand, in a photo published by the government.

Officials at Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital told reporters at Saturday's press conference that the 13 are tentatively scheduled to be discharged on Thursday.

The public health minister of Thailand, Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn, said the group is "physically active and healthy".

Some of the children lost as much as 11 pounds during their ordeal. Now, most of them have gained 4 pounds each since they were rescued.

"Everyone is healthy, without fever and strong," Piyasakol said in Thai at Saturday's press conference. "Everyone has a good appetite and they want to eat so many types of food."

Piyasakol said that family members no longer need to wear surgical masks when they visit patients and now they can stay by their beds, instead of staying away, a protection against the infection that doctors instituted in the first days after the hospitalized group

The results of the blood tests showed no signs of infectious diseases that they might have contracted during their weeks stranded in the depths of a partially flooded cave near the village of Pong Pha. The group must complete a seven-day cycle of antibiotics prescribed by doctors, according to a statement published Thursday by Jedsada Chokdumrongsuk, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Public Health.

  PHOTO: Thai rescue teams walk inside the cave complex where 12 children and their soccer coach disappeared, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand, July 2, 2018. Center Rescue Operations of Tham Luang via AP [19659015] Thai rescue teams walk inside the cave complex where 12 children and their soccer coach disappeared, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai Province, northern Thailand, on 2 July 2018.

The examining psychiatrist reported that the 12 children are in "good mental health condition", but there is concern about how the children will go when they return home for the first time in weeks, according to Piyasakol. Children and their families have been instructed to avoid any exposure to the media for at least a month after they are discharged, for fear that it may trigger symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

"Family members should take care of themselves and children, everyone should understand," the health minister told reporters, "although the children [will be] were discharged in a few days, they are still not strong." enough and you need to rest at home. "

Concerns also extend to the boys' coach, who led the Wild Boar youth soccer team in the cave last month and has received criticism from outsiders. The children and their parents, however, generally praised the coach for keeping their spirits high and postponing their meal.

Ekapol has gained weight quickly and is physically well, but it is the psychiatrist who is most concerned about protecting himself from any mental anguish, according to Piyasakol.

After patients are discharged, the hospital will deploy its "family care team" to follow up and help care for them until they recover fully, physically and mentally.

The boys, between 11 and 16 years old, and their trainer were trapped inside Tham Luang Nang Non, the longest cave in Thailand, during a trek on June 23. The labyrinth of 6-mile-long chambers and pbadageways of the cave extends to neighboring Myanmar.

It is believed that the coach often took teammates to the main entrance of the cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park for fun excursions after soccer practice. Two guys who are part of the team but were not present on a disastrous walk told ABC News that going to the cave was a kind of rite of pbadage and team building exercise.

But when the group went deeper into the cave that afternoon, the sky opened and it started to rain. The downpour sent water from the flood to the entrance of the cave and cut its exit route. The group advanced until they found a dry and high slope where they remained stranded in total darkness for days.

After they failed to return from their walk, Thai officials launched an extensive search and rescue operation involving more than 1,000 people, including recruited specialists from various nations such as Australia, China, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. U.S. State.

Persistent rain initially impeded efforts to locate the group. But two British divers found the 13 alive on July 2 in an area a couple of miles from the main entrance of the cave.

Four days later, a former member of the Royal Navy of Thailand, Saman Gunan, 38, died in the cave after losing consciousness underwater during an overnight operation delivering additional air tanks.

A team of members of the Royal Thai Navy, a doctor and a nurse stayed with the group, gave them high-potency protein drinks and medical evaluations, while the rescuers worked on a plan to get them out in the safest way and fast possible. They fought against Mother Nature to pump water from floods and divert water flows in the middle of Thailand's wet monsoon season.

International diving teams evacuated children four by four over a three-day period earlier this week, racing against time and an impending monsoon rainstorm that threatened to flood the cave again. The coach was the last to be evacuated.

Nineteen divers entered the cave complex during each rescue mission. One or two divers guided each of the boys, using ties, through a series of partially submerged caverns and corridors. The first stage of the one-day mission took 11 hours to complete on Sunday, while the second on Monday and the third on Tuesday took about nine hours each, according to the provincial governor of Chiang Rai, the official in charge of the extensive search and rescue operation.

Upon leaving the cave on stretchers, the children and their trainer were taken by ambulance to the Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital, where they have been recovering from the dangerous experience and a variety of minor ailments.

Brandon Baur, Joohee Cho, Matt Foster, Ben Gittleson, Matt Gutman, Hugo Leenhardt, James Longman, Kelly McCarthy, Matt McGarry, Gamay Palacios, Kirit Radia, Rex Sakamoto, Scott Shulman, Mike Trew of ABC News , Anthony Trotter, Sohel Uddin, Marcus Wilford, Karson Yiu and Robert Zepeda contributed to this report.


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