When the 22-year-old returned to Cincinnati he was in a coma. The family released a statement saying that Otto died today at 2:20 p.m. Doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center say his condition, while stable, is severe, and that he suffered extensive loss of tissue in all regions of his brain. But at least we got him home to be with his parents.
Fred Warmbier spoke during a press conference at Otto’s high school last week.
It said the student had been “unable to speak, unable to see and unable to react to verbal commands”. He was home and we believe he could sense that.
Speaking before his one-hour trial, a tearful Warmbier told reporters he was offered a used auto worth $10,000 if he could successfully steal the propaganda banner. He went on to be sentenced to 15 years hard labour and his family say he slipped into a coma shortly afterwards in March 2016.
American doctors who were treating Warmbier, a student at the University of Virginia, last week said he had suffered “severe neurological injury”. He did not seem aware of his surroundings, in spite of his open and blinking eyes.
“It would be easy at a moment like this to focus on all that we lost – future time that won’t be spent with a warm, engaging, brilliant young man whose curiosity and enthusiasm for life knew no bounds”, the Warmbiers’ statement said.
Doctors who examined Otto Warmbier after his release said there was no sign of botulism in his system. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Otto’s family and friends, and all those who loved him”.
Fred Warmbier praised his son’s “performance” and Mr Trump’s administration. He was critical of the approach to his son’s situation taken by former President Barack Obama’s administration.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson vowed to hold North Korea to account for Warmbier’s death, plus work to released three other “illegally detained” Americans.
But North Korea expert Adam Cathcart told Time that Warmbier was probably arrested as a bargaining chip as the USA turned the heat on the regime for weapons testing. North Korea accuses Washington and South Korea of sending spies to overthrow its government.
The next time the world saw Warmbier he was distraught, breaking down in front of Korean journalists in a video released by North Korea in February of 2016.
“There had not been any previous detainment in North Korea that has ended with such tragic finality”, the company said, adding that Warmbier’s death had made it “reconsider” its position on accepting American tourists.
Early this month, North Korean diplomats at the United Nations urgently requested a face-to-face meeting with USA officials in NY.
Warmbier was “generous, outgoing, sweet, smart as a whip, just an overall good guy”, Danica White, his sophomore English teacher, recalled last week.