The Thai soccer players and their families were able to sort of have a reunion. Wearing masks and hospital gowns, the boys were able to see their families but were separated by protective glass. Doctors are still concerned about the boys’ health and felt they needed to keep the environment carefully controlled.

Family members were in tears as they stared through the glass. Doctors are still concerned about infection and said that three boys are being treated for pneumonia, but also noted that most of the boys would be discharged in about a week.

The effects of the cave

The boys are in “good condition” according to health ministry inspector Tongchai Lertvirairatanapong. During their time in the cave, the boys lost on average 4.4 pounds in weight. Officials attributed the health of the boys to their coach Ekkapol Ake Chantawong, a former monk and the last person out of the cave.

“I have to praise the coach who took care of the footballers very well,” Lertvirairatanapong said.

He went on to say that the boys had no food for nine days and survived off the murky water from inside the cave. When the boys first came out of the cave, they were given a milk like substance packed with proteins and nutrients.

Even the elite Thai Navy Seals had to see doctors and psychologist after the rescues due to infections, flue and to relieve stress. Even for experienced divers, the rescue was dangerous and complicated.


The rescue

The boys were underwater for nearly six hours during the nine-hour rescue operation. Two divers were assigned to each boy. Divers carried oxygen tanks and guided them through the murky tunnels.

Through the first kilometer, the cave system is narrow, flooded, and considered the most dangerous section of the journey. After getting through the first section, boys were given to a different rescue team who helped them wade through the rest of the cave.

Questions about why the boys even went into the cave during the rainy season remain. The head coach of the team did not know why the boys went into the cave, and was still waiting to talk to Chantawong.