Saturday, 23 February, 2019

Doctor says Otto Warmbier has brain damage

Otto Warmbier REUTERS DETAINED Otto Warmbier was held for 17 months on charges of stealing a political poster
Melinda Barton | 29 June, 2017, 09:05

On his way to the airport, Rodman vowed to return and said his "thoughts and prayers" are with the family of Otto Warmbier, an American student who was arrested and imprisoned in the North for 17 months, then released just hours before Rodman's arrival. He spontaneously opens and blinks his eyes but doesn't seem to understand language, respond to verbal commands or be aware of his surroundings.

Otto Warmbier, the former North Korean detainee now back in the United States, is suffering from "unresponsive wakefulness", also known as a persistent vegetative state.

The doctors said they had no information about the care he received in North Korea. Doctors treating him in the USA said they found no evidence of botulism, but did find severe brain damage consistent with losing oxygen to the brain.

He spoke as an OH hospital said Otto had suffered a "severe neurological injury" and is in a stable condition.

"This pattern of brain injury is usually seen as result of cardiopulmonary arrest where the blood supply to brain is inadequate for a period of time resulting in the death of brain tissue", he said. He had been on a tour of the reclusive country, his parents said.

Mr Warmbier said his family did not believe the claims from the "pariah regime" and though they are thrilled to have their son home, there is "anger that he was so brutally treated for so long".

That was used as evidence in his hourlong trial.

Fred and Cindy Warmbier said they were told their son was given a sleeping pill shortly after his trial last March, and that he never woke up. "That was it. That was the last physical time I saw Otto, ever", he added.

Washington has stepped up pressure on China and other foreign powers to enforce existing United Nations sanctions on North Korea, and has deployed increased military assets of its own in the region.

"We are going to leave that to doctors to explain today".

The reports sent by North Koreans do not shed any light on what caused the brain injury or its circumstances. "We did not find any evidence of that".

State Department confirmed the US special envoy to North Korea met with the other three USA citizens being held captive in North Korea.

Mr Warmbier commented on the need for a "tough approach" to North Korea because they "have proven they are not nature's noble men".

In May, Yun met with senior North Korean officials during informal talks in Norway.

When Yun finally laid eyes on the comatose Warmbier in a North Korean hospital, it was the first time the US could verify his condition in person since his sentencing more than a year earlier, the State Department said.

A Young Pioneer Tours official told a news site that focuses on the region that only one person - Otto Warmbier - has ever been arrested among the 8,000-plus worldwide travelers who have taken part in the company's tours.

"Nobody has seen or heard from Otto since March 2016", Fred Warmbier said.

Fred Warmbier, describing his son's return as "bittersweet", wore the same cream-color jacket that Otto wore when making his confession - a statement that he called "an wonderful performance".

On Thursday, North Korea said that it had released him "on humanitarian grounds". Warmbier was jailed more than a year ago for reportedly stealing a propaganda poster.

A former teacher of an American college student released by North Korea in a coma says he's a fighter and believes he'll do everything he can to recover.

Warmbier is taken to North Korea's top court in Pyongyang North Korea.

He said Otto "is not in great shape right now" and that his family is "adjusting to a different reality". White calls him a "curious boy" and says his adventurous nature led him to travel extensively during summers.

One of Obama's advisers, Ned Price, said the Obama administration had "no higher priority" than securing the release of Americans detained overseas but North Korea's isolation "posed unique challenges".