Thailand cave rescue: How 12 boys ‘took care of themselves’ during the 18-day ordeal

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The soccer teammates rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand lost weight during their 18-day ordeal, but had water while they were trapped and are in good health. The 12 boys and coach rescued over the three previous days “took care of themselves well in the cave,” said, Thongchai, a public health inspector at a news conference at the hospital in Chiang Rai city where the group is recovering.

The four boys rescued on Sunday can eat normal food and walk around, and the four pulled out Monday were eating soft food.

Thongchai said,” one member of the final group of four boys and the coach who arrived at the hospital on Tuesday evening had a slight lung infection.” The average weight loss was 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) for those with known information. They were able to obtain water dripping inside the cave.

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 10 days later, huddled on a small dry shelf just above the water.

The complex, high-risk mission for international and Thai divers to guide the boys and coach through the cave’s flooded and tight passageways had riveted people worldwide. Highlighting the dangers, a former Thai navy SEAL volunteering to work on the rescue efforts died on Friday.

Each of the boys, aged 11 to 16 and with no diving experience, were guided by a pair of divers though rocky, muddy and water passages in places were just a crawl space.

The method was extremely risky, but dwindling oxygen levels in the cave and fears of more monsoon rains planned an urgent decision. Relatively mild weather and a massive effort to pump out water created a window of opportunities. The confidence of the diving team and expertise specific to the cave grew after its first successful mission.

The boys were in isolation in the hospital to prevent infections by outsiders, but family members had seen at least some of the boys from behind a glass barrier.

After a period of time, the family members would be allowed closer, dressed in sterilized clothing. Health officials had previously said that the boys would get a mental health evaluation to address any problems caused by their ordeal. Outside experts have said, ”the group identity of the soccer teammates and their youth would aid their ability to recover.”

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