When divers discovered the Thai boys on Monday, 2 July, stranded in a flooded cave, it was 14-year-old Adul Sam-on who communicated with them through his proficiency in the English language
"I'm Adul, I'm in good health," the teen said in Thai when a light shone on him in a video that emerged after the group was discovered. He also offered a traditional Thai "Wai" greeting.
Adul, part of the "Wild Boar" football team, had been trapped in the cave for 13 days with their 25-year-old coach.
Adul became the point of contact on behalf of his team, providing clarity and info to the rescuers on how long they had been in the cave and what supplies they needed
"What day?” he shouted at the divers in the rescue footage broadcasted around the world, which has been viewed more than 28 million times on Facebook.
According to news.com.au and The Straits Times, the teen was the only member who could communicate with the divers.
Adul, his coach, and the entire "Wild Boars" football team were successfully rescued from the cave on 10 July.
Adul, who is also proficient in Thai, Burmese, Mandarin, and Wa – a language spoken near the Myanmar and China border – has been living in a church since his parents left him there eight years ago
Born in Myanmar's Wa state, which is not recognised internationally nor by Myanmar, Adui is among the thousands from the state who have fled to neighbouring countries to seek greener pastures.
The New York Times stated that about 400,000 people are registered as stateless in Thailand, according to numbers provided by UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
Despite a difficult upbringing, Adul did not let his status hold him back from excelling at school, in sports and music