For more than 18 days they were stranded in a flooded cave in Thailand – 12 boys and their young coach. Then Karma for the Thai cave rescue boys.
The world eagerly awaited whether these young soccer players would be rescued or wind up dying in an underground cave that was difficult to reach.
But a miraculous rescue plan took place and everyone was taken out alive by an international rescue team.
But as it turns out many of these boys had already faced impossible odds before the cave incident.
Quite few of them were poor.
And one of them, Abdul Sam-on, 14, among others in the cave, had escaped terrorism amidst a world of terror, drug smuggling, guerrilla warfare, opium cultivation and methamphetamine trafficking.
So his parents wanting him to live a better took from his impoverished area of Myanmar and slipped him into Vietnam.
“And it was Adul, the stateless descendant of a Wa ethnic tribal branch once known for headhunting, who played a critical role in the rescue, acting as interpreter for the British divers.
Proficient in English, Thai, Burmese, Mandarin and Wa, Adul politely communicated to the British divers his squad’s greatest needs: food and clarity on just how long they had stayed alive.
“Three of the trapped soccer players, as well as their coach, Ekkapol Chantawong, are stateless ethnic minorities, accustomed to slipping across the border to Myanmar one day and returning for a soccer game in Thailand the next.”
But it isn’t over for these boys.
Now that they are recovering from their ordeal in hospital another daunting task and ordeal faces the.
The road to recovery will be another fearful, daunting journey.