Thank God! The 12 boys and their coach were all successfully rescued from the Tham Luang cave complex near Chiang Rai in the northernmost sector of Thailand. The ordeal which began on June 23rd ended today on Day 17. Millions of people around the world were captivated by this human drama for a variety of reasons. Most were praying for all involved…the boys, their coach, the families, the Navy Seals who risked their lives to save the boys. Sadly, 38 year old Navy Seal, Sgt. Major Saman Gunan, ran out of oxygen and died while performing a pre-rescue operation to enhance the chance for success.
What an emotional roller coaster…especially for the boys, the coach, their parents and families. I can only imagine the agony of uncertainty regarding their fate, how hope peaked at times and faded at others. Fear, courage, sadness, loneliness, terror, relief. Eight days until they saw another human being…until they had anything to eat. Fatigue, pain, confusion, thirst, weakness, disorientation, doubt all day long, all night long. Twelve children and one adult bonded forever.
I also can only imagine the jubilation experienced by the parents, grandparents, and siblings of the boys. Although, as of this moment, they have not been allowed to see the boys for medical reasons, just knowing they are safe is a miracle for them. Thank God they are safe. Prayers answered.
The saga is not over. I am interested in the physical recovery of the boys and their coach. I am interested in the stories that will emerge. I will also be interested to hear how the boys adjust to this traumatic event. Fortunately, children are resilient for the most part although each one of the twelve is different. Hopefully, all will get their lives back to some semblance of normalcy soon. Their parents would be wise to monitor their emotions and behavior carefully over the next year to make sure that symptoms of PTSD do not develop. Also, parents should be very judicious regarding the media blitz that will likely descend upon their child and family. These children need normalcy in their lives right now…not movie deals.
At Little Flower School our students are taught about current events such as this event in Thailand. Our students can learn so much about life by becoming aware of world events. In this case we can learn about the geography of Thailand, the forces of nature, the potential dangers of cave exploration, the extremes of human emotion, and the importance of Faith, hope, and prayer. These boys were the ages of many of our students. When school starts again in a few weeks, I will be anxious to hear what our students thought about their counterparts in Thailand. I will let you know what they say.