Deceased cadet’s internal organs handed over to parents

Phramongkutklao Hospital has handed over internal organs of Pakapong Tanyakan, a 18-year-old cadet student, back to his parents today (Nov 23).

The parents said the organs, which include brain and heart, will be sent to the Central Institute of Forensic Science (CIFS) of the Ministry of Justice to find the actual cause of death of their only son, who is the first-year student at the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School (Afaps) in Nakhon Nayok province.

According to the Afaps, Pakapong collapsed at the school's medical division on Oct 17. He was rushed to Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy School Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 8.24pm. His body was later sent to Phramongkutklao Hospital in Bangkok for autopsy.

The autopsy revealed he died of heart failure, but his family was not convinced and asked Ongkharak police to investigate the cause of the death. The police on Oct 27 requested the CIFS to conduct second autopsy.

The CIFS conducted the autopsy on Nov 1 when they found that some vital organs went went missing, including brain, heart, and stomach. This prompt Pakapong's family to call on concerned agencies to clarify about missing organs.

On Nov 21, the Royal Thai Army and Phra Mongkutklao Hospital held a press conference and revealed that doctors removed and kept Pakapong's internal organs for further examination.

The hospital agreed to hand over the organs to the family today (Nov 23). The organs are kept in two boxes with Pakapong's name tag attached to them.

Maj Gen Tara Poonpracha, director of the Army Institute of Pathology at Phra Mongkutklao Hospital told the family members that the first autopsy found that Pakapong had cardiomegaly or enlarged heart.

He admitted that the institute did not inform the family that they would keep the internal organs for further examination because authorities are not required by law to do so.

However, we would take this case as a lesson that we should inform family of the deceased [about the removal of internal organs], Maj Gen Tara told Pakapong's parents and sister.

CIFS director Som Promrot said yesterday (Nov 22) that after receiving the organs from the family of Pakapong, the authorities would conduct DNA testing before examining of the organs to determine the cause of the death. The result is expected to come out within 7 day.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)