Student freed by North Korea has severe neurological injury


Warmbier is taken to North Korea’s top court in Pyongyang North Korea. Source Reuters Kyodo

ANN THOMPSON, BYLINE: After a battery of tests, doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center say Otto Warmbier is in a state of unresponsive wakefulness, meaning he shows no signs of understanding his surroundings, and he has not spoken. The 22-year-old can occasionally open his eyes and blink, but has no language recognition or response to verbal commands.

On Thursday, North Korea's state-run news agency said that a court had allowed Warmbier to return home "on humanitarian grounds".

Also, Kanter said the type and pattern of damage they see on the latest MRI scan is not what they normally see in patients with traumatic brain injuries.

Kanter said that Warmbier had suffered "extensive loss of brain tissue in all regions of the brain", but he declined to discuss Warmbier's prognosis at the request of his family.

His father, Fred Warmbier, said his son was "brutalised" by his captors.

Speaking at a news conference on Thursday father Fred Warmber said he felt "relief that Otto is now home in arms of those who love him and anger that he was so brutally treated for so long".

The other two Americans were only recently detained.

His parents learned of their son's condition - what North Korea called a coma - only last week, they said in a statement.

There have been reports Warmbier was mistreated in the custody of the North Koreans and possibly physically beaten. He told Carlson that the efforts to bring him home began a couple months back when he was contacted by Yun.

Warmbier, said he does not believe North Korea's explanation that the coma resulted from botulism and a sleeping pill.

He said there was no reason for North Korea to keep his son's condition secret for more than a year and to deny him top medical care. He was then taken by ambulance to a hospital.

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President Donald Trump called for prayers of "peace, unity and safety" Friday in support of injured Rep. Steve Scalise as well as returned North Korea hostage Otto Warmbier.

"...we have had one arrest in ten years and have safely taken over 8000 other tourists to the country", said Collings.

JAKE TAPPER: I want to turn to an issue that's pretty significant about the family of former North Korea detainee and US college student, Otto Warmbier.

"The fact that he was taken and treated this way is disgusting, and tough to process", Fred Warmbier said.

His family said they only found out about the illness last week and refuted the North Korean's explanation. "For any parent, this is their worst nightmare". "A medical team and aircraft were organized, and North Korea was informed that a delegation would travel there", the Washington Post reported.

After nearly 17 months of confinement, the hermit kingdom freed the student on June 13 - however not before he went into a coma and suffered severe brain damage.

'We're just thrilled that he is on American soil'. So it's really tragic.

The chances of full neurological recovery after the brain has been deprived of oxygen for prolonged periods of time - greater than four minutes - are poor, Glatter said.

KELEMEN: Wilson points out that 17 Americans have been detained in recent years in North Korea. Pictured in the 30 second clip are presumably a few other members of the tour group that Warmbier was visiting the country with, as well as a few local children, who all threw snowballs at the camera while smiling and laughing together.

Such detentions in the totalitarian nation have added to tensions between Washington and Pyongyang. It was widely speculated that Rodman would take up the issue of US citizens detained in North Korea.

FILE - In this March 16, 2016, file photo, American student Otto Warmbier, center, is escorted at the Supreme Court in Pyongyang, North Korea.

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