‘Worst is over’ for hero captain of Samho ship

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‘Worst is over’ for hero captain of Samho ship

Seok Hae-gyun, captain of the pirated Samho Jewelry, is slowly showing signs of recovery with improving vital signs, and despite still being in critical condition, the medical staff at Ajou University Hospital said the “worst part is over.”

Seok’s platelet count is rising to a relatively stable level and his blood pressure, pulse and temperature are reaching average levels, the hospital said yesterday.

However, Seok’s prognosis is not clear because he is fighting serious blood poisoning and has blood clots in his circulatory system that could severely damage inner organs.

“It has been 60 hours since the operation on Seok,” a hospital spokesman said yesterday. “Complications from blood poisoning and the blood clots that were a problem on Monday are getting better and we are trying our best to maintain his lung capability. His condition is still critical but the worst part is over.

The spokesman added: “There is a big possibility that he will return to health, but there is still a risk things could suddenly take a turn for the worse. This is why our staff is continuously on call and monitoring his condition.”

Ajou University Hospital also said there could be small bullet fragments left in Seok’s body, but there are no longer any whole bullets to be extracted.

“It will take a decent amount of time for Seok to return to health,” hospital director Ryu Hee-sug said on Monday.

The director added that it would take a number of months to restore Seok’s arm and legs - which were severely injured by pirate gunshots - to their original condition.

Seok’s wife and second son are now seeing Seok during visiting hours.

After the military rescued the Samho Jewelry, it was reported that Seok’s quick wits and bravery helped the Korean Navy succeed in the operation by catching the pirates off-guard.

President Lee Myung-bak, during a 90-minute interview yesterday, said of the captain: “If he had not been there when we initiated the [military] operation, we would not have been able to use that strategy.

“You might just think you’ll be carried off safely because the shipping company will pay the [ransom] money [to the pirates]. But I believe [Seok] had something else in mind. He seems like a very special person.”

By Christine Kim [christine.kim@joongang.co.kr]

Related Korean Article [연합]

"석 선장 가장 위험한 고비 넘겨"
아주대병원 '희박하지만 주중 의식회복 가능성'

소말리아 해적에게 총상을 입어 경기도 수원 아주대병원에서 치료 중인 삼호주얼리호 석해균(58) 선장의 상태가 가장 위험한 고비는 넘긴 것으로 알려졌다.

이에 따라 이르면 이번 주내 의식을 회복할 가능성도 배제할 수 없을 것으로 보인다.

유희석 아주대병원장은 1일 오후 브리핑에서 "석 선장의 패혈증과 범발성 혈액응고 이상(DIC) 증세가 호전 기미를 보이기 시작했다"며 "최저점을 지난 것으로 판단된다"고 밝혔다.

이날 오후 3시 현재 패혈증과 DIC 증세의 호전 여부를 알 수 있는 석 선장의 혈소판 및 혈색소 수치는 각각 10.5g/㎗, 13만/㎖로, 전날부터 수혈 없이도 증가 추세를 보이고 있다. …

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