THE 13 “Wild Boars” rescued from a flooded cave in Chiang Rai province were in “good health” overall, doctors said.
There was no need for doctors to prescribe sedatives to aid their sleep as they seemed to be in “very good mental health” despite the ordeal, Public Health Ministry inspector-general Dr Thongchai Lertwilairattapong said.
At a press conference yesterday morning, he attributed their good mental health to having stuck together as a team under the good oversight of their assistant coach. The first four young footballers to exit the cave, aged 14-16, are now able to eat normal foods and were free from leptospirosis. They would leave Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital on July 15 to recuperate at home for another week, Thongchai said.
Families get first glimpse
Two of this batch of footballers had initially shown signs of pneumonia, but had responded well to the medication they were given, he said. The family members of the first four boys were allowed to visit them. They had to wear protective medical gowns, a face mask, hat and boots and maintain a two-metre distance. The second batch of four footballers to exit, aged 12-14, were also found to be in good physical health and free from leptospirosis.
One initially had hypothermia and arrhythmia (an irregular heartbeat) presumably caused by the cave’s cold temperature, but had recovered.
The four kids were placed on a special diet of easily digestible soft food with a mild taste, he said. It was expected that doctors would later yesterday allow their relatives to visit them following the same precautions as the parents of the first batch.
The five footballers, aged 11-25, who were brought out on Tuesday, had no hypothermia issue although one of them had signs of pneumonia, he said. There was no need for doctors to give them sedatives as they slept well and seemed to be in “very good mental health”, Thongchai said.
“It’s possibly because they stayed together as a team throughout the ordeal ... We have to commend the assistant coach for managing them well in the situation.”
The second and third batches would remain in the hospital for a week for physical recovery and for medical observation in case of any emerging infections, he added.
After their release they would need to recuperate at home for at least another seven days. Rescuers, volunteers and media members who were at the Tham Luang cave during the rescue operation would also each receive a “medical watch for ailment” card within two weeks, which they could bring to a doctor to get a check-up.