Thai footballers crave food and hope to go home next week

CHIANG RAI, Thailand – The 12 children and their soccer coach rescued from a flooded cave in northern Thailand are recovering well and are eager to eat their favorite comfort foods after their expected discharge from a hospital next week .

In video messages of the children shown at a press conference on Saturday, they are seen wearing surgical masks, a protection against the infection that has been taken since they were taken out of the Tham Luang Tuesday cave, ending with a tough test of 18 days. The doctors said that on Friday, when the videos were recorded, it would be the last day they should use them.

The Minister of Public Health, Dr. Piyasakol Sakolsattayatorn, who led the press conference at Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital, said that the 13 – the dozen boys, who are between 11 and 16 years old and their coach, are expected 25 years old, be discharged from the hospital on Thursday.

"All 13 people, their physical bodies are strong, and fit In terms of infections, through medical evaluations in the first few days there may be some who had mild pneumonia, but now everything is clear, without fever "said Piyasakol. It was also reported earlier that several were recovering from minor lung and middle ear infections.

Most of the children, who showed up in their hospital beds, seemed relaxed and began their brief statements with a "wai", the traditional Thai greeting of hands raised at chest level with palms together.

A few gave the victory sign with two fingers and raised their fists. One of the 14-year-old Ekarat Wongsukchan, whose nickname is Biw, playfully lifted both his arms in boxer's victory position while laughing in the background.

"Hi, my name is Biw, I'm fine, I want to thank everyone who cared," he said. The 13 thanked for the support they received.

Asked by an off-camera interviewer what they expected to eat, their wish list included pork leg simmered with steamed rice, crispy fried pork, roasted red pork, sushi, meat and KFC.

Adul Samon, a 14-year-old stateless person sent to Thailand by his parents from ethnic minorities on the other side of the border in Myanmar, spoke in Thai and then in English: "Hi, I'm Adul Now I am very well, I am very grateful, thank you very much. "

Adul is perhaps the best known of the boys because he was the one who spoke English in the video taken inside the cave when the team members were first encountered by two Britons. The cave divers on July 2, almost 10 days after being trapped by the floods.

In the video of the hospital, he also holds a document, apparently a drawing of his teammates, whom he points out one by one.

The Minister of Public Health, Piyasakol, predicted the children and said: "Psychologists have been talking with children, with children, their mental well-being is good today".

"Although they are about to leave in the days after … they are not as strong as a normal person, they still need to rest and improve their health and their body," he said.

A statement from the hospital said that children continue to recover, they remain susceptible to infectious diseases. To avoid mental stress, they should spend at least next month alone with family and friends, avoiding encounters with the media that could trigger the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, the statement said.

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