Thai cave survivor ‘found unconscious in dormitory,’ says Coach Zico

The Wild Boars team captain ‘Dom‘ – one of 12 boys saved from a flooded cave in Thailand in 2018 – was found unconscious in his dormitory room in England on Sunday before tragically passing away on Tuesday, according to the foundation sponsoring his studies.

President of the Zico Foundation, Kiatisuk “Coach Zico” Senamuang, told the press via Zoom that the dormitory manager at Brooke House College Football Academy in Leicester, England, discovered 17 year old Duangpetch “Dom” Promthep unconscious in his room on Sunday.

Dom was taken to hospital and was supported by a ventilator, however, his breathing grew weaker until his body became unresponsive and passed away on Tuesday, February 14, said Coach Zico.

Coach Zico said that Dom was in good health, to his knowledge…

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“Nong Dom left us very quickly. As for his cause of death, we have to wait for the hospital to confirm. Nong Dom is usually a strong person.

“Before leaving to study in England, Dom had to pass a health examination according to the law. Anyone who fails a health check will not have their visa approved.”

Yesterday, news outlet KhaoSod reported that Dom sustained a head injury in a fall.

Last August, the 17 year old cave rescue survivor Dom posted this message on his Instagram account after the Zico Foundation awarded him a scholarship to study football in England…

“Today, my dream has come true. I’m going to be a football student in England. I would like to thank Sports Education and the Zico Foundation for getting me this scholarship in England. Thank you to Brooke House College Football Academy for giving scholarships to allow “upcountry” kids like me to develop themselves.

“Thank you also to Oronas Ltd. and Sports Hero Co. Ltd. for supporting me with this important, once in a lifetime opportunity. Thank you to the principal and all the teachers at Wachiralai School and all those who have supported me so far. I would like to thank Coach Zico especially.”

Dom’s mother joined the Zoom call and requested Coach Zico to help coordinate the return of Dom’s body back home to Thailand.

Coach Zico said he would do all he can and coordinate with the embassy to reunite Dom with his family as quickly as possible.

Brooke House College principal Ian Smith said in a statement…

“This event has left our college community deeply saddened and shaken. We unite in grief with all of Dom’s family, friends, former teammates and those involved in all parts of his life, as well as everyone affected in any way by this loss in Thailand and throughout the college’s global family.

On June 23, 2018, 12 members of the Wild Boars football team – aged 11 to 16 – got stuck in a flooded cave system in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province in northern Thailand with their 25 year old football coach Nopparat Kanthawong.

At the time, 13 year old Dom was the Wild Boars’ team captain.

No contact was made with the team for two weeks. On July 2, two British divers miraculously found the group alive on a rock, but the hardest part was yet to come – getting them out of the narrow, flooded cave system.

In an international rescue mission that involved more than 10,000 people, all 12 boys, and their coach were brought out of the cave alive between July 8 – 10, the mission ending 18 days after they went missing.

Yesterday, Buddhist monk and Dom’s former teacher Supatpong Methigo broke the news of his death on Facebook after his grandmother, who gives the monk alms every morning, informed him of Dom’s unexpected death.

The monk said

“Dom’s grandmother come to offer food to the monks and informed us that Nong Dom has passed away. His home was close to this temple.

“Nong Dom was a good kid who studied hard and wrote well. He could chant Buddhist prayers extremely well and received our praises often.

“When Dom was stuck in the cave, his grandmother gave us alms every day and prayed for a miracle.”

“After the cave rescue, Dom went to Chiang Mai to study sports. Then, he received a scholarship to study further in England.

“May the soul of Duangphet “Dom” Promthep rest in a good world. A world that you desire.

“I hope the Dharma you were taught accompanies you everywhere and I hope you are my student again in a future life.”

A British diver who helped in the 2018 rescue mission made a statement paying his respects to Dom.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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