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While the world celebrated the rescue of 12 boys and their football coach who had been trapped in the Tham Luang cave for more than two weeks, tragedy has struck the life of an Australian doctor credited with playing a key role in the rescue.
Dr Richard Harris, who is reportedly an anaesthetist, world renowned experienced cave diver and has worked for MedSTAR in South Australia for thirty years learned that his father had died shortly after completing the rescue mission in the cave.
The death was confirmed by MedSTAR Director of Clinical Services Dr Andrew Pearce on Wednesday morning.
“It is with great sadness that I confirm that Harry’s dad passed away last night a short time after the successful rescue operation in Thailand,” he said.
“I have spoken with Harry. This is clearly a time of grief for the Harris family, magnified by the physical and emotional demands of being part of this week’s highly complex and ultimately successful rescue operation.
Dr Pearce spoke of how proud he was of Dr Harris, who he said had endured a “tumultuous week with highs and lows”.
“We are delighted that Harry and the boys are safe and that he was able to play such a remarkable role in the Australian response,” Dr Pearce said.
“Harry is a quiet and kind man who did not think twice about offering his support on this mission.
“He will be coming home soon and taking some well-earned time off to be with his family. He has asked that the family’s privacy is respected at this time.”
Earlier it was reported that Dr Harris had played a key role in the extraction of the boys from inside the cave, determining which of the boys should be first to leave the cave.