Student freed by North Korea has severe neurological injury
16 June, 2017, 06:14 | Author: Michele Stevens
Warmbier said even if the North Korean story was true, there's still no excuse for keeping a 15-month coma a secret until last week and denying him access to top-notch medical care.
'Otto is not in great shape right now, ' Fred Warmbiertold Fox News Wednesday after his son arrived back in the United States on a military airplane and was taken straight to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for urgent treatment.
North Korea's highest court sentenced Warmbier, a 21-year-old University of Virginia undergraduate student, from Wyoming, Ohio, to 15 years in prison with hard labor on Wednesday for subversion.
His parents found out he was in a coma just a week before he was released, something Fred Warmbier said threw him into a state of "shock".
North Korean officials claimed Warmbier fell into a coma after contracting botulism and taking a sleeping pill.
(AP Photo/John Minchillo). Alison Lebrun helps tie blue-and-white awareness ribbons along Springfield Pike near the family home of Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old University of Virginia undergraduate student who was imprisoned in North Korea in March 2016.
Otto Warmbier, whose father says was "brutalised and terrorised" while detained for 17 months in North Korea and had fallen into a coma during that time, has a "severe" neurological injury, a hospital official said.
"His spirit is with us and I can share his spirit with my spirit", said Warmbier, who was wearing the very same light-colored blazer his son wore during his trial in North Korea in March 2016. He said the president was "very candid" during the telephone call and told him Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other USA officials worked hard to negotiate Otto's release.
"I think the results speak for themselves".
Gratton depicted Warmbier in flattering terms, calling him "such a mature lad for his age", and cast doubt on the North Korean government's version of events.
The father says that he and his wife, Cindy, only learned of their son's condition last week.
In recent months, Warmbier said, he and his wife, Cindy, had made a decision to take a more public stance in calling for their son's release, after months of following advice that they should try not to antagonize or offend leaders in North Korea.
Doctors said on Thursday that there was no sign of botulism in Otto Warmbier's system. "No other family should have to endure what the Warmbiers have", he added.
North Korea later said it had released him "on humanitarian grounds", state media reported.
Danny Gratton was on the same tour of the country as Warmbier, and the two had struck up a friendship before the latter was detained in 2016.
Nauert offered a timeline of events: In May of 2017, Yun met with high level officials within the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the sidelines of separate Track II discussions in Norway to talk about detained US citizens. "We are extremely grateful for their efforts and concern", Mr. Warmbier said.
Three Americans remain in North Korea custody.
"North Korea is a pariah regime".
"She wanted me to tell you that she knows Otto is a fighter, and she and I firmly believe that he fought to stay alive through the worst that the North Koreans could put him through in order to return to the family and community he loves", he said.
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