Thursday, April 09, 2020

Solid food but no TV yet for rescued eight

Jul 10. 2018
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By The Nation

The eight members of the Mu Pa (wild boars) Academy football club rescued thus far from Tham Luang Cave were in good health mentally and physically, although all had high white blood cell counts and two initially showed indications of pneumonia.

Senior health officials at Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital said yesterday the group would remain under observation there for at least one week. 

“All eight are in good health – no fever as of this morning,” said Public Health Permanent Secretary Dr Jessada Chokdamrongsuk. 

They showed no signs of after-effects from their hours-long dive to safety, he said.

All of the boys had shed a kilo or two while trapped in the cave but were now able to get out of their hospital beds and walk around. They’ve received medication to stabilise their white blood cell count, which had risen due to lack of food and from being in a cold, damp environment, Jessada said. 

The first four footballers brought out, ages 14 to 16, were taking Vitamin B1 and were allowed to remove the sunglasses they had worn to protect their vision. 

The second group of four, who came out yesterday, ages 12 to 14, were still wearing sunglasses, he said. The two who were found to have signs of pneumonia have responded well to antibiotics and their fever and coughing were abating, Jessada said. 

The boys said they’d seen no bats or other animals inside the cave, but doctors would keep watching for any indications of infectious disease. Samples |had been sent for lab tests in Bangkok with results expected in two days. 

“They are also in good mental health, able to talk and appearing cheerful. Some even joked with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha when he visited them on Monday night,” Jessada said. 

The first four boys rescued were also allowed to see their families on Monday night, though only through a window. “If tests turn up no signs of infectious disease, we’ll allow their families inside to talk to them, but they’ll have to wear protective suits and stay two metres away.” 

“They seem to be hungry often and this morning the first four boys asked for bread and chocolate spread... They are athletes, so their bodies resist illness well... They are still on saline drips because doctors are providing medication intravenously.” Jessada said.

All the boys were allowed to chat on the phone with their families later yesterday. Asked what was the first thing the boys said, Jessada said: “They were thankful and happy to be rescued and wanted to go home.” 

After being found in the cave, the boys were fed power gels and soft food to build their strength gradually. As of yesterday morning, they were able to eat normal but bland food, Jessada said. 

Their requests to watch TV have been denied pending consultations with psychiatrists.

 

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