After a 17-day struggle, an image of the Thai boys flashing victory sign, smiling and waving from their hospital beds gripped the world.
The boys would have to stay in hospital for up to 10 days, hospital director Chaiwetch Thanapaisal told the news conference. "Everyone is strong in mind and heart".
Parents watched and waved from behind a glass barrier, their faces vivid with emotion.
"It might be because they were all together as a team, helping one another out", public health ministry inspector-general Thongchai Lertwilairatanapong told reporters, singling out their 25-year-old coach for keeping their spirits high.
Two of the first group had a lung infection as well, and Thongchai said they would need medicine for seven days.
Released on the Thai Navy SEALs Facebook page, the clip showed the boys being stretchered to freedom while wearing wetsuits and diving gear.
The extraordinary operation to save the boys came to an end on Tuesday, when the Thai Navy SEAL rescuers and a doctor followed the last four boys and their coach out of the cave complex. According to reports, all 12 boys of a child soccer team and their assistant coach have been rescued and evacuated to a hospital, 13 members of a youth soccer team including their assistant coach have been trapped in Tham Luang cave since 23 June 2018.
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The three Australian divers stationed at "chamber three", a base inside the cave, said they heard screaming and saw a rush of head torches from deeper inside the tunnel as workers scrambled to reach dry ground, the Guardian reported.
The complex mission for global and Thai divers to guide the boys and coach through the cave's flooded and tight passageways riveted people worldwide.
"As you can imagine from what's been in the media all week it is not a holiday that Harry has been on", Pearce said. "The divers carried them out and they were wearing wetsuits to keep them warm", Thai navy SEAL chief Apakorn Youkongkaew said.
Each of the boys, with no diving experience, was guided out by divers though rocky, muddy and water-filled passages that in places were just a crawl space.
The unprecedented mission was completed on the 18th day of an all-out rescue effort involving several countries from around the globe. Relatively mild weather and a massive effort to pump out water created a window of opportunity. "They are children being children, it was an accident", Narongsak said.
Most of the boys rescued from inside a flooded cave in northern Thailand lost an average of 2 kilograms (4 pounds) during their ordeal, but were generally in good condition, a senior health official said on Wednesday.
Although the boys were found safe, the water levels and complexity of the cave system meant rescuers weren't able to retrieve the first four boys until July 8, more than two weeks' after they went missing.