This is so sad. It’s been on my mind all day since the story first started to break. Nathan picked up on it early and posted about it here. Surprisingly, there is no Korean media coverage about this, at all. But expect Korean Herald to run with it after enough foreigners tip them off, which is likely happening right about now. And once the Herald runs it, the Korea versions of the online newspaper will disseminate the story. Korean media absolutely relishes in pointing out government or personal failures that lead to death, so I don’t see it being a quiet issue for too long.
But on a personal note, I can’t imagine how hard those early moments must have been for the mother. Being in the gender-segregated bathhouses of Royal Hawaii in Gyeongsan, unaware of the convulsions that your son is doing and no one coming to his aid nor informing the mother until later. And its not like they can’t figure out who the mother is of a foreign child in a jjimjilbang for chrissakes. “Helloooo! Remember the only foreigners in the whole fucking building? Yes, it’s quite likely the woman is related to the boy. Oh wait, informing her would involve speaking English and much worse, having to break bad news to that foreigner.” And thats where the fuck-up and delays must have begun. Everyone looking around at each other over what to do and who will go break the news to her. Everyone hoping that someone else will break out of the collective-mindset that has conditioned them away from individualistic critical thinking and acting on that instinctive response. Given that the mother is trained in CPR, the ensuing hesitation and incessant ‘어떻게’ from the Koreans, is likely what cost the boy’s life.
Update #1: Korea Times has picked it up.
Update #2:.Zenkimchi has info on how to donate to Mike’s legal fund that has been set up seek answers to the tragedy.
Update #3: Podcast interview with Stephanie White, Mike’s mother.