News & Opinion | July 19, 2018 8:56 am

Thai Boys Tell of Mentally and Physically Moving From Dark to Light

Despair gave way to hope when the rescuers arrived in the cave.


At first, they panicked.  When the 12 young boys of the Wild Boars soccer team realized they were trapped in a flooded cave, they “lost their minds—out of control,” crying day and night, one boy told his dad.

Another boy remembers how their stomachs were growling from hunger and how much they missed their parents and wanted to go home. The only adult with them, their coach, was able to get the boys to sit quietly and focus on breathing and sleep on day three.

They weren’t found for another week. Then it took another week for one of the most extraordinary cave excavations the world has ever seen.

The group, now all released from the hospital with clean bills of health, spoke publicly for the first time about the ordeal. During the press conference, they describe working in teams to search for altnerate ways out, finding drinking water, huddling together for warmth and not thinking about food. Then, finally, they talk about being found, how the rescuers brought checkers to keep them distracted, and then, getting out.