Freed American student suffered ‘severe neurological injury’, says Ohio hospital

WYOMING, Ohio (AP) – An Ohio hospital spokeswoman says the American college student who was released by North Korea in a coma suffered a “severe neurological injury.”

Otto Warmbier
FILE – In this March 16, 2016, file photo, American student Otto Warmbier, center, is escorted at the Supreme Court in Pyongyang, North Korea. Warmbier, whose parents say has been in a coma while serving a 15-year prison term in North Korea, was released and returned to the United States Tuesday, June 13, 2017, as the Trump administration revealed a rare exchange with the reclusive country. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin, File)

 

Kelly Martin of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center said Thursday that Otto Warmbier is in stable condition after arriving at the hospital two days ago.

Doctors plan a news conference on campus later Thursday.

His father, Fred Warmbier, said Thursday he does not believe North Korea’s explanation that the coma resulted from botulism and a sleeping pill.

Fred Warmbier said there’s relief to have their son home in the arms of those who love him and anger that he was so brutally treated for so long.

A UC Health spokeswoman says doctors will have a news conference on campus Thursday afternoon.

His father told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on Wednesday that his son, Otto, was “terrorized and brutalized” during his 17-month detention and has been in a coma for more than a year.

He said Otto “is not in great shape right now” and that his family is “adjusting to a different reality.” 

See also: Family of freed UVA student adjusting to ‘different reality’

The father says that he and his wife, Cindy, only learned of their son’s condition last week.

The 22-year-old University of Virginia student was medically evacuated from North Korea and arrived in Cincinnati late Tuesday. He was then taken by ambulance to a hospital.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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