It was the three-day rescue mission that stopped the world in their tracks and as of July 10, 12 members of Thailand soccer team and their coach were safely pulled out Tham Luang cave.
And while the world cheered on from their loungerooms as each boy was released one by one, it appears there was further heartbreak for families of the soccer players who waited eagerly to reunite with their loved ones.
Speaking exclusively to WHO, Seven News Chief Reporter Chris Reason revealed “mainstream media had reported the parents have seen the boys. But they have not been able to touch them hold them, hug them, kiss them… all the things the parents and the boys would want to do.”
At this stage, "The eight boys brought out by divers over the previous two days are in “high spirits” and have strong immune systems because they are soccer players, a senior health official said. Doctors were being cautious because of the infection risk and were isolating the boys in the hospital.
Chris Reason also revealed that the mental fortitude of the terrified boys aged between 11 and 17 was largely due to coach Ekapol Shantawon, 25, a Buddhist who helped keep them calm during their two weeks in the cave. “He taught them meditation and was using those techniques inside and that was apparently really helping the boys deal with their fears in those conditions.”
Despite a miracle saving of 13 lives, the event did take a tragic turn as former Thai Navy Seal Petty Officer Saman Gunan lost his life while voluntarily helping on the missing. The 38-year martyr died after losing consciousness on his way out of the cave where he had been delivering air tanks.
More to come on this story.
This article originally appeared on WHO