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Cave boys: V for victory

The 12 boys rescued from a flooded cave in northern Thailand made victory signs from their hospital beds Wednesday in a moving video from the isolation ward where they're recuperating from their 18-day ordeal.

The youngest, 11, appeared asleep under a crisp white sheet. Others, including their 25-year-old soccer coach, who had been trapped in the cave along with the boys, sat in bed, their faces obscured by green surgical masks.

Nurses chatted with them and the boys responded with the customary Thai sign of respect — hands pressed together while bowing the head.

Parents watched and waved from behind a glass barrier, their faces vivid with emotion.

"Don't need to worry about their physical health and even more so for their mental health," said Chaiwetch Thanapaisal, director of Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital.

"Everyone is strong in mind and heart," he said at a news conference.

The four boys and soccer coach brought out Tuesday on the final day of an all-out three-day push to save all of them had recovered more quickly than the boys rescued on Sunday and Monday, Chaiwetch said.

Even so, all need to be monitored in the hospital for seven days and then rest at home for another 30 days, he said. Three have slight lung infections.

A video released on Facebook by the Thai Navy SEALs shows one of the boys being carried through part of the muddy cave on a stretcher covered by an emergency thermal blanket.

The group had entered the sprawling Tham Luang cave to go exploring after soccer practice on June 23, but monsoon rains soon filled the tight passageways, blocking their escape. They were found by a pair of British divers nearly 10 days later, huddled on a small, dry shelf just above the water.



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