12 Thai boys rescued from cave reunited with family after being released from hospital
By: Erin Johnson, Xiro Xone News July 18, 2018 Updated: 4:34 PM PT
The twelve Thai boys and their coach who were recused after being trapped in a cave for more than were released from the hospital Wednesday.
The young boys, ages 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach were trapped in a cave in Chiang Rai, Thailand. Several of the boys were treated for slight dehydration and minor infections at the hospital but all are recovering well.
"We tried to dig out as we thought we cannot only wait for authorities to get us," coach Ekkapol Chantawong told a press conference Wednesday as the Wild Boars team made their first public appearance since being saved.
The kids captured the attention of the world when, they ventured off into the Tham Luang cave on June 23, 2018 for what they said was, “A quick, relaxing excursion after soccer practice.” But that quick excursion turned into a 16-day nightmare when heavy rainwater filled the cave flooding underground passages that cut off their exit out. On July 2, 2018, two British divers John Volanthen and Rick Stanton stumble upon them in the cave, video tapped them, then put rescue efforts in motion by going for help.
While attempting to get the boys out of the cave, former Thai Navy Seal, Saman Gunan, died.
The boys said they planned to “show their gratitude and respect for him.” As the boys way of giving thanks that they survived the ordeal, they intend to “Shave their heads and spend a few days in a monastery.” “The belief of Thai Buddhist is that this will bless their lives, and cleanse them of an unfortunate experience.”
After their release from the hospital the doctors said, “The 13 was healthy in body and mind. They lost an average of 4 kilograms (9 pounds) during the more than two weeks they were trapped in the cave but regained around 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) on average since they were rescued from the cave.”
During a press conference that included the trapped players, and the rest of the soccer team, a reporter asked the boys, if they learned anything from their experience. One of the boys, 13-year-old Mongkol Boonpiam said, “I feel stronger, I have more patience, endurance, tolerance."
All of the boys wanted to apologize to their parents, who did not know their kids were going to go to the cave. Ekarat Wongsukchan, 14, said he “Wanted to apologize to his parents because he told them he was going to a cave,” but he deliberately told them the wrong one. Ekarat continued by saying, "I told them I was going to Tham Khun Nam, I didn't tell them I went to Tham Luang.”