Thursday, 15 May 2008

Mike White: everybody warm up your prayer engines.

First heard of this from Brian, and then over at Marmot:

A fourteen-year-old named Mike White died in a Korean sauna in Daegu last Saturday; he coughed and retched in the sauna, and then passed out; the sauna owners neglected to call his mother (who was highly trained in first aid), phoned the ambulance and reported him as already dead (so they came slowly instead of quickly, and ill-equipped to resuscitate him), and basically bungled the situation so badly that a fourteen-year-old kid died needlessly.

It's a tragedy, and maybe also a travesty, that staff at a sauna -- where pools of water, powerful water-pumps, running kids, slippery surfaces, hard edges, old men, high temperatures, and sometimes alcohol, mix, were so ill prepared for such a scenario, and responded so half-heartedly, and I hope there is a thorough investigation into this poor kid's death, and that those to blame are held responsible. His mother, Stephannie, is devastated (of course).

Police in Korea are getting a reputation for needing their arms twisted before they try to get to the bottom of things, as evidenced here, and it seems, for trying to wiggle out of doing their due diligence on the "sounds too much like work" defense when they can: when Bill Kapoun died in a suspicious fire not long ago, according to the Save Bill Kapoun facebook page,"[Bill's family] had to sign papers terminating the investigation in order to have Billy’s body released,” so it remains unknown whether Bill's death was caused by accident or arson. Easier to close the file than to ensure justice is served if was arson.

You can read more about Michael and the White family's situation here, here , here (on facebook), and here.

There are compassion vigils planned in Seoul, and by the sauna where he died. If you live nearby, think about going. Let's not have this one buried and forgotten, too.


Anonymous said...

I’m humbled by the outreach I’ve seen in reaction to Mike’s death. I dont know how I could ever thank everyone enough for helping me spreas the word about this~trying to raise awareness and put pressure on the police via the media. Today, I was interviewed by a Korean Language daily and tomorrow a TV station wants to set up an interview. With increased media exposure, Mike has a chance for justice. All this could not have been possible without the help of the bloggers out there who spread the word & got the attention needed to bring in the crowds at the two vigils so far. The fight for justice has just begun. I can only say thank you from the shards of my shattered heart. ~ Mike’s Mom (stephannie)

Roboseyo said...

Stephannie, it's the least we can do here in Korea for us expats to look out for each other.

Please keep us posted on how we can help more.