Cincinnati doctors share Otto Warmbier's condition

Cameron Gross
June 18, 2017

Otto Warmbier was in coma, when he was released Tuesday, and he was taken to the neuroscience intensive care unit at UCMC in Ohio.

The New York Times previously cited a senior USA official as saying Washington had received intelligence reports Mr. Warmbier was repeatedly beaten while held captive in North Korea.

The 22-year-old from Cincinnati spent 17 months in detention after he was arrested for stealing a political poster from a hotel. He was sentenced the following month to 15 years in prison with hard labor.

What happened next, and how Warmbier ended up in a coma, is still unclear.

Otto Warmbier's father, Fred, said today that he does not believe North Korea's claim that his son's coma resulted from "botulism and a sleeping pill". But the family has dismissed that explanation.

They did say moving forward, the family requests details of Otto's care and prognosis not be released.

In a separate statement, Otto Warmbier's doctors described his condition.

Tensions between the United States and North Korea have been heightened by dozens of North Korean missile launches and two nuclear bomb tests since the beginning of the previous year. White calls him a "curious boy" and says his adventurous nature led him to travel extensively during summers.

Warriors 2017 National Basketball Association championship parade
Golden State won the series in five games and Green displayed a shirt that said "Quickie" with the Quicken Loans symbol. Warriors guard Klay Thompson was throwing T-shirts to fans and waving from the top of an open, double-decker bus.

Then in May, Yun met in the Norwegian capital of Oslo with senior officials from North Korea's Foreign Ministry.

The North Korean government said Warmbier's injuries were caused by botulism. Shortly after the Swedish visits, the North reached out to the USA with an urgent request to meet in person.

Twenty-two-year-old Otto Warmbier's (WORM'-birz) high school English teacher, Danica White, says he was an outstanding student with "a good heart". Over the next days, officials said, Tillerson and Trump discussed the case.

North Korea's news agency KCNA reported Warmbier was repatriated on humanitarian grounds.

"I don't think we'll ever find the answer", he said. "Some of these, as I hope you can try to understand, are sensitive, diplomatic matters".

"Even though they're saddened by his condition, they're just glad for the family that he is home", McCauley said. When asked whether he will ever regain cognitive function, they reiterated the wide-reaching damage to the many areas of Warmbier's brain and declined to comment on whether the damage can be reversed or repaired, citing respect for the Warmbier family.

Several UC Medical Center physicians, including Daniel Kanter, MD; Jordan Bonomo, MD; and Brandon Foreman, MD, addressed the media Thursday.

Otto's release came on the same day that former basketball and reality star Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea, where he brought a gift for Dictator Kim Jong Un, President Trump's 1987 book "The Art of the Deal". "So we're looking to the future". A hospital spokeswoman did not provide an update on his condition but said his parents planned to hold a Thursday morning news conference.

Other reports by BadHub

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