Two of the four children found alive after a 40-day odyssey lost in the Amazon jungle had their birthday among the thick vegetation, the Colombian Defense Minister said Saturday after a visit to the Bogotá hospital where they are recovering.
They are “shocked, in a recovery process,” said Minister Iván Velásquez. They are “hydrating”, “they still cannot eat, but in general the condition of the children is acceptable, according to the medical reports they are out of danger.”
The minister was accompanying President Gustavo Petro, who arrived with his family to visit the four children, Lesly (13 years old), Soleiny (9), Tien Noriel (5) and Cristin (1).
The Huitoto boys were found alive Friday by rescuers as they wandered alone through the jungle since the May 1 crash of the Cessna 206 plane that was carrying them along with their mother, the pilot and an indigenous leader. All three adults perished in the accident.
Two of the children had birthdays in the jungle, the youngest Cristin, her first year, and her brother Tien Noriel, five years old.
Velásquez especially singled out the role of the older sister, Lesly. “We have to recognize not only her courage, but her leadership. It was because of her that the three little brothers were able to survive on her side. With her care, with her knowledge of the jungle.”
He said that the minors do not present any particular pathology or particular degradation of their state of health. They are in a stable situation and are undergoing examinations, in addition to submitting them to a nutrition protocol to recover, as well as psychological support.
They will remain hospitalized for between two or three weeks, depending on the evolution of this feedback process, he specified.
According to Astrid Cáceres, director of the Family Welfare Institute (ICBF), the children speak little but they are beginning to want to play, Cristin especially.
The person in charge also revealed that during their journey the four brothers were at one point accompanied by a dog, according to what they told her. She did not specify if it is Wilson, a tracker Belgian shepherd who found several of the minors’ belongings and is now lost in the thick vegetation.