12 Thai Boys and Soccer Coach Released From Hospital

The team had been in the hospital since last week.

The 12 boys and their soccer coach who were trapped in a Thailand cave for more than two weeks have been released from the hospital. 

The team and their 25-year-old coach made their first public appearance at a press conference in the northern province of Chiang Rai after leaving the Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital Wednesday.

The kids, members of the Wild Boars football club, appeared in front of the public in their team shirts.

They boys, ages 11 to 16, have been under close supervision at the hospital since they were rescued from the cave last week. They were all pronounced healthy aside from a few minor infections, reports said.

A director at the hospital in Chiang Rai, where the boys have been recuperating for the last week, said they are no longer showing signs of mental trauma and "seem fine to go ahead with their regular lives."

"They are ready to go home," he said during the Wednesday press conference.

The boys and their coach initially disappeared on June 23 after entering the Tham Luang cave network through a small entrance. They had planned to explore the cave after a practice but became trapped when monsoon rain flooded the cave. 

During the press conference, one of the youngest members of the team said he "tried not to think about food," but found it hard to get fried rice off his mind. Another said he tried to keep his stomach full of water.

They were found nearly two weeks after they became trapped by British divers.

"We didn't think it was real," one of the team members said, explaining that they first heard the rescuer's voice but couldn't see him, CBS News reported.

The team reportedly survived by drinking the water dripping off the cave’s roof, which is naturally filtered. 

A team of expert divers and Thai navy Seals were called in to help rescue the boys from the largely flooded cave system. They were able to rescue the boys and their coach by bringing the team out in three separate rescue missions that spanned three days.

They sedated the boys and had two divers take each one out.