WYOMING, Ohio (AP/KDKA) — The father of an American college student who was imprisoned in North Korea and was returned to his home state of Ohio in a coma says the family is “adjusting to a different reality.”
Fred Warmbier 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, and he does not believe North Korea’s explanation that the coma resulted from botulism and a sleeping pill.
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.
Doctors in Cincinnati who are treating Warmbier say he has severe injury to all regions of his brain.
On Thursday, they described Warmbier as in a state of “unresponsive wakefulness.”
They say he doesn’t show any consistent response to stimulation, shows no sign of understanding language, responding to commands or awareness of his environment.
Doctors with the University of Cincinnati Health system say Warmbier shows extensive loss of brain tissue, consistent with respiratory arrest, when the brain is cut off from oxygen but they aren’t sure why.
Physicians added that no tests revealed any evidence of active botulism.
They said his prognosis remains confidential.
Warmbier is in stable condition at UC Medical Center, where he was taken Tuesday night after his arrival in Ohio.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)