Tortured girl to undergo surgery

Photo above: The couple who tortured the girl

The 12-year-old Karen girl who suffered extreme abuse at the hands of a Thai couple for five years in Kamphaeng Phet was yesterday taken to Bangkok's Ramathibodi Hospital, where she will be admitted for surgery in a week.

The girl, accompanied by PM's Office spokesman Tossaporn Serirak, met with hospital director Dr Surasak Ripileela-udom and cosmetic surgeon Dr Athi Kreuwit for an evaluation. Tossaporn said the government and the hospital would cover the girl's medical bills until she made a full recovery.

Athi said the examination found scarring all over the girl's body. She is unable to raise her left arm because the burnt tissue ended up sticking her armpit to her chest, so she will undergo a four-hour operation to treat the problem, after which she will rest at the hospital for another one or two weeks. Doctors will monitor her treatment over the long term until she makes a full recovery. Athi said the girl had also suffered severe mental trauma, so mental health experts would join the treatment to help her recover.

The girl was kidnapped by Nathee Taeng-on, 35, and wife Rattanakorn Piyaworatham, 33, and forced to tend to animals at the couple's pet shop. She was tortured in various ways, including having boiling water poured onto her body. As police continued to hunt for the couple, who jumped bail, Provincial Police Region 6 chief Wanchai Thanadkij said an investigation had found that the couple had fled Kamphaeng Phet but were still in Thailand. He said police should be able to arrest them in two or three days.