A high school graduate, Adul Samon took more from his opening speaker than inspirational words: his speaker had saved his life before he started high school.
On June 23, 2018, Samon, his football coach and 11 of his teammates were trapped in a cave in Thailand for over a week.
Just 14 years old at the time, Samon and the Wild Boars football team traveled to Tham Luang Nang Non cave in northern Thailand without packing any food or water. After heavy rains, floodwaters blocked their path and trapped the team. They took turns trying to dig a tunnel with their bare hands with little energy as a search for them in several countries began.
After nine days of survival in minimal fresh water, Samon and the rest of the team were found by Rick Stanton, a volunteer with an elite British diving team. Stanton and the team provided all 13 with medication and foil blanks before bringing them to the surface for three days.
Rescue in a cave in Thailand:Football team found alive after 10 days lost in caves
A cave rescuer gives his commencement speech at the Masters School in New York
“I didn’t know what to say or what I was supposed to say. I’m just glad people finally found us,” Samon told ABC’s “World News Tonight.”
Now 19, Samon lives in the United States where he made a living after the traumatic incident and still maintains his passion for football, ABC reported. He started studying at the Masters School in New York in 2020 on a full scholarship and eventually became captain of their football team, the outlet said.
Stanton attended Samon’s graduation ceremony and gave the commencement speech, according to the school’s post.
“If you spend your life avoiding mistakes, you may avoid failure, but you’ll never truly understand your potential. The only way to know the upper limits of your abilities is through trial and error,” Stanton said. during his speech.
Stanton told ABC he was proud to be partly responsible for Samon’s life in some way and to see him make the most of his opportunities.
Samon is heading to Middlebury College in Vermont this fall and aspires to become a doctor, according to ABC News.
“We have to keep adapting to the environment you’re in to survive. You have to keep adapting your life,” Samon told ABC. “It’s just amazing, it’s this miracle. I never thought I would get this far and be sitting here in the United States.”