Following Tuesday’s tragic incident in which four unattended children fell from the balcony of a Bangkok apartment, their Thai grandfather is insisting the family will not give custody of the three surviving children to their expat father.
Ead Prakaikaew, 68, told TV reporters that Swiss father, Marcel Borel, has asked to care for the children himself after the horrific incident, which left a 5-year-old boy dead, but the family has insisted the children stay with them.
Ead alleged that when his daughter Rattikarn was in a relationship with Borel, who works as an English teacher, he frequently went out partying, smoked cigarettes with the children inside the room, and didn’t properly feed the them when they were under his care. Ead went so far as to claim that the children often had to ask neighbors for food.
The grandpa specifically recalled a day when he visited the children, and Borel’s neighbor approached him and handed him a THB100 (US$3) bill, urging him to take the children out to eat, Amarin TV reported.
Ead also claimed that the English teacher never sent money to support the children, though it’s important to note Borel has yet to speak to media or share his side of the story publicly.
According to local media reports, the eldest child, 11-year-old Didi, was washing dishes on the balcony at about 1am on Tuesday, when her younger siblings climbed on top of a piece of wood that had been screwed on top of the balcony for use as a storage shelf. The board then gave way as the children tried to pull each other up onto it.
While their grandmother, who lives in the same building, had been at the apartment earlier to feed the children, they were then left unattended, because Rattikarn had to work a night shift at her hotel job.
While Didi survived and only broke a leg, 10-year-old Luca broke several bones and is suffering from swelling in the brain. Chanida, 7, also has brain swelling and stopped breathing twice yesterday, though doctors successfully revived her. The two remain in the intensive care unit.
Meanwhile, the Thai mother is pleading for the government sector to help with the children’s medical bills as she cannot afford to pay the mounting costs, which exceed what’s covered under the government’s healthcare program for the poor.
The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security has vowed to aid the family, adding that they have sent psychologists and social workers to talk to the mother.
The department ensured that they will offer further help as necessary, Daily News reported.
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