Thai youth soccer players released from hospital, hold news conference

Doctors said the boys were in good health, but some of the boys were treated for minor infections while at the hospital.

Twelve boys and their coach from the 'Wild Boars' football team speak during a press conference for the first time since they were rescued from a cave in northern Thailand last week.   -  Getty Images

The 12 boys rescued from a Thai cave after being trapped for more than two weeks were released from the hospital Wednesday. 

Doctors said the young boys were in good health, both physically and mentally, as they had gained an average of more than six pounds each, according to USA Today. It was believed the boys lost roughly nine pounds each while they were trapped in the cave.

Some of the boys were treated for minor infections while at the hospital, according to The Associated Press, but they were described as "recovering well."

Shortly after being released, the members of the youth football team dubbed the Wild Boars and their coach made their first public appearance as they participated in a news conference.

“We don’t know what wounds the kids are carrying in their hearts,” said justice ministry official Tawatchai Thaikaew, who asked for the boys’ privacy to be respected after the discharge, via the New York Post.

“The media know the children are in a difficult situation, they have overcome peril and if you ask risky questions then it could break the law."

One of the boys, Adul Sam-on, 14, recalled for reporters the moment on July 2 when two British divers found the group in a flooded chamber deep within the cave complex in the Chiang Rai province. 

“It was magical,” he said (via Reuters), adding, “I had to think a lot before I could answer their questions.”

“We took turns digging at the cave walls,” coach Ekkapol Chantawong said. “We didn’t want to wait around until authorities found us.”

An unidentified boy at the news conference said, “I told everyone, 'Fight on, don’t despair,'” describing how the group had battled to stay alive.

“We only drank water,” one of the boys, nicknamed Tee, said. “On the first day we were OK, but after two days we started feeling tired.” 

The 12 boys, ranging in age from 11 to 16, and their coach, 25, had been stranded for more than two weeks when rising floodwaters trapped them in the cave complex in the nothern Chiang Rai province. They had been missing for 10 days before they were discovered. 

The evacuation took three days as 13 international cave diving experts and five Thai Navy SEALs entered the cave in an attempt to get the boys out one by one as they navigated through flooded and narrow tunnels. 

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