- Thai football team captain and cave rescue survivor Duangphet Phromthep has taken his own life in a UK college.
- British authorities have concluded the cause of death as suicide.
- The world mourns again, reminded of the Thai cave rescue and the struggle of the young boys who lived through it.
BBC reports that Duangphet Phromthep, the Thai footballer and cave rescue survivor, was found unconscious at his dorm in Brooke House College.
He passed away later at Kettering General Hospital.
Lives forever changed: Thai’s Wild Boars team and the captain
Let’s take a step back.
Picture a team of young boys, trapped in the darkness of the Tham Luang caves.
Nine long days pass without food.
A sudden storm causes a flood, blocking their exit.
This was the fate of the Thai football team, The Wild Boars, in 2018.
Duangphet, known as Dom, was their captain.
The voice that first cried out for help when the rescuers found them.
CNA provides more details: The boys, together with their 25-year-old coach, were trapped for 17 days.
Their rescue involved about 10,000 people in an international effort.
Some boys fell ill with lung infections and needed hospital care.
But bit by bit, they all got safe and sound back to the surface.
Duangphet’s life in the UK: Brooke House College
Fast forward to 2023.
Duangphet is studying in the UK.
Rewind back to February 12.
A teenager is found unconscious in his dorm room at Brooke House College.
Two days later, he passes away at Kettering General Hospital.
The boy is Dom.
The same Dom who led his team through nine days of darkness.
The Guardian reports that Dom’s death has been ruled as suicide.
There is no evidence of third-party involvement or suspicious circumstances.
And it could not have been foreseen or prevented.
Mental Health: Unseen, Unknown
Dom was not known to mental health services, said Senior Coroner Catherine Mason in an inquest seen by PA news agency.
We do not know why he took his life.
Mental health is complex.
It can be hard to see, hard to understand.
Especially when it affects a young, bright individual such as Dom.
Beyond academics, Brooke House College provides student support.
This comes from a dedicated pastoral team.
But despite their robust safeguarding systems, they could not save Dom.
“Dom will always remain a part of the Brooke House family and will be hugely missed,” said Principal Ian Smith in a statement.
Remembering Duangphet and Reflecting
We all remember Dom as the brave leader of the Wild Boars team.
To his family, he was the good son.
His mother, Thanaporn Promthep, said, “Every day, I think of Dom and how he had always been a good boy. I can survive.”
He will always be remembered.
Dom’s sudden passing is a sobering reminder, though.
It throws a spotlight on mental health.
Especially among students, locals and foreigners alike.
We must remember no storm is that strong that we can’t reach out and ask for help.
Mental health must stop being a taboo.
It’s okay to seek help.
It’s okay to talk about it.
Let’s remember Dom, and let’s fight so others don’t share his path.
What do you think could be done to raise awareness about mental health?