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Toddler in coma after hours in hot van


Two-year-old went unnoticed for six hours outside childcare centre in Nakhon Si Thammarat

A two-year-old boy remained in a coma on Friday, three days after he was left alone in a scorching hot van outside a childcare centre in Phibun district for six hours.

Thanakit “Nong Kongbin’’ Yodmanee was being treated in the paediatric intensive care unit at Maharaj Nakhon Si Thammarat Hospital.

He was rushed to the hospital on Aug 11. 

The boy’s mother, Suwaphat Chaiyatham, 26,  said on Friday that the van from Wat Srimaram childcare development centre in tambon Kathun picked her son up at their home on Tuesday morning. Normally, Thanakit sat in the front row of the van, but that day he was asked to sit behind, she said.

That afternoon, his teacher sent photos to parents of the children inside the classroom. 

Ms Suwaphat said she did not see her son in those photos and asked the teacher where he was. The teacher replied that Thanakit did not arrive for class that day. Ms Suwaphat said he had left home in the van.

She panicked and immediately rushed to the care centre, where she learned he had been forgotten and left locked in the van throughout most of he hot day.

Nong Kongbin had already been rushed to hospital. She went to the hospital and found her son was having severe convulsions.

A doctor treating him said her son’s liver and kidneys were not functioning or responding.  He was put on life support. 

She begged the doctor and hospital staff not to remove life support from him as she wanted her son to have a chance to recover.   

The 2-year-old had been left in the hot, closed van, alone, from 7.30am to around 1.30pm on Tuesday.

A tearful Ms Suwaphat said when she kissed her son goodbye on Tuesday it never occurred to her it might be for the last time.

She did not want school vans like that one used to transport children anymore. A songtaew minibus might be better, as people could see whether there were any children still inside the vehicle.

The boy’s father, Thawatchai Yodmanee, has filed a complaint with Pol Capt Suparuek Chanyoo, deputy investigation chief at Phibun police station. Named in the complaint was Sunisa Phukpanit, acting head of the childcare centre. Ms Sunisa has provided financial assistance to the boy’s family.

Police were waiting for the family to file another complaint against the van driver, the teacher tasked with caring for the children while they were in the van, and other teachers. 

They were likely to face charges of carelessness causing serious injury.

Bangkok Post

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