Thai cave boys to leave hospital on Thursday

Hannah Rogers
July 16, 2018

The examining psychiatrist has reported that all 12 boys are in "good mental health condition", but there's concern about how the boys will fare when they return home for the first time in weeks, according to Piyasakol. Flash floods had made it almost impossible for the team to escape the cave, although they were all saved after 17 days.

British diver John Volanthen, 47, who found the boys and their coach inside the cave system, said Dr Harris" bouncy Australian accent was "relaxing and reassuring' to the boys.

A team of Royal Thai Navy members, a doctor and a nurse stayed with the group, giving them high-powered protein drinks and medical assessments, while rescuers worked on a plan to get them out as safely and quickly as possible.

The 12 boys and their football coach who were trapped in a cave in Thailand are recovering well and have appeared in a video message.

The 12 and their coach are recovering both physically and mentally and will be discharged from hospital on Thursday, July 19, Piyasakol told reporters.

"They are the toughest blokes and kids I have ever had the privilege to meet and without them being in the state they were in, we couldn't have done anything".

The hero doctor, who spent his life combining his profession with his life-long interest in the underwater world, said it was the children and Thai Navy SEALs who were the "big heroes". But in a striking coda to an already astonishing tale, a former Thai Navy SEAL told AFP the boys were "sleeping" as they were passed from divers or on pulleys as they exited the cave in stretchers.

Australian Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull, in a video he released of a conversation with Dr Harris, offered his condolences and congratulations.

'He's been diving for over 30 years, and readily embraced advances in diving technology to better help him explore and photograph caves in Australia and overseas, ' he said.

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The boy, who was trapped on a muddy ledge without food, added: "I want pork knuckle rice". Without him, the father says, he doesn't know how the kids could have survived.

One of the miners, Jorge Galleguillos, said the parents of the cave boys should ensure they have no unaccompanied contact with lawyers or journalists.

"What we do is very calculating". "I'm just happy he got out of the cave". Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop has signalled the government is considering how to formally recognise the Australian team.

Others spoke in Thai to express their gratitude for the global support they received over the two-week ordeal.

"The favourable outcome that has been achieved is nearly beyond our imagination when we first became involved".

There were calls for Dr Harris to be handed the Australian of the Year award yesterday, after the mission, which saw the 53-year-old dive many times through the 4km of cold, dark and narrow passages to reach the boys and assess them medically in order to facilitate the risky escape.

The teenagers also asked if they could be sent some KFC.

Immediately after his death became public knowledge, people around the world began mourning the courageous Navy SEAL member - but no tribute was more touching than the one his wife left him on social media.

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