In addition to the severe weight loss and dehydration, numerous young men had also contracted pneumonia, but by the time of publication, most had recovered from their illness according to Thai Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn.
"They, all 13 of them, saw a small passage or a crawl space, so they all dug the hole to get through to another spot, until they found Nen Nom Sao", Banphot said, referring to the sandy slope on which they ended up sheltering.
Some of the rescued football team cry as they're told the news a diver died during the preparations for their rescue.
Harris said grieving his father's death at the end of the rescue was a "bittersweet moment". Flash floods had made it almost impossible for the team to escape the cave, although they were all saved after 17 days.
Doctors say they are in good health following the successful three-day operation which ended July 10 when teams of Thai Navy Seals and worldwide cave diving experts hauled the last five members of the team to safety.
Thai cave boys to leave hospital on Thursday
However, he was just one of a small team of expert Aussie cave divers who have reached an nearly legendary status in their field due to their expertise and boundary-pushing missions.
They thanked those who rescued them for their help and bravery while sat in their beds.
He said the Facebook post was a way of thanking all the people involved. "I love you like you're my very heart... from now on when I wake up ... who will I kiss?"
Saman, then-Petty Officer First Class, collapsed and died on July 6 during the operation to help rescue the 12 Mu Pa Academy football team members and their football coach from the cave where they had been trapped since June 23.
"There was an wonderful bunch of people to work with during the rescue from both Australia and overseas", he said on Saturday.
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Thai authorities have prevented reporters, camped in cafes and at street corners outside the hospital in Chiang Rai, from interviewing the boys, and with good reason, Danese said.
Richard Harris, an anaesthetist and experienced cave diver, was meant to be holidaying in South Australia.
"I don't know how he will cope (with the attention)", said Oui-pan Sompiengjai, 66, grandmother of 16-year-old Pheeraphat Sompiengjai.
"Hello, my name is Biw, I am fine", 14-year-old Ekarat Wongsukchan said. All 13 offered thanks for the support they've been given.
They were discovered nine days later by two British divers, perched on a small ledge of dry land about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from the cave's entrance.
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"We told them about the death of Navy Seal Kunan as part of the process of preparing the boys to go back home and to lead normal lives".
The Thai Navy Seals after the rescue operation.
She has been helping Rick and the other divers throughout the rescue operation.
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