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Utah Teen Still Missing in Thailand

Utah Teen Still Missing in Thailand

Posted - Dec. 29, 2004 at 5:02 p.m.



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Shelley Osterloh ReportingThree days after a series of tsunamis hit an arc of countries from Asia to Africa, the vast scope of destruction is still coming into focus. 77,000 now confirmed dead and the final toll could surpass 100,000. A Salt Lake family is holding out hope their teen daughter won't be added to that list. She is the daughter of a Utah doctor vacationing in Thailand with her family when the tsunami hit.

The Breisch family dream vacation is still a nightmare. There is no word yet on the whereabouts of the 15-year old. Kali Breisch and her 16-year old brother, JaiRam were in a beach side bungalow when the tsunami hit. Kali vanished in the torrent, Jai was washed a quarter of mile and banged up badly by debris. He managed a ride to a hospital.

Joni Glynn , Aunt: “He had spent two days by himself thinking he had been orphaned, there was no family left.”

The teens’ father, Stu Breisch was also hit by the wall of water as he and his friend Sally Nelson and another daughter, 18-year old Shonti were eating breakfast. Jai has been airlifted to a hospital in Bangkok and Sally with him, as Stu searches hospitals and make shift morgues for his daughter Kali.

Joni Glynn, Aunt: "He said he's just looked at hundreds of bodies trying to find her."

Stu Breisch is an emergency room physician at Jordan Valley Hospital where he has worked for 21 years. The tragedy has hit his co-workers hard. While they are relieved he is okay, they are praying and hoping Kali will be found alive.

Robyn Rollin-Root R.N.: “And we hold onto that hope and at the same time our hearts are breaking for him. We are family and he is an integral part of our family.”

Dr. Tom Darr has known Stu and his family for more than 20 years and says he knows Stu's training as an Emergency Room Doctor is helping him focus on what needs to be done.

Tom Darr, MD. Emergency Room Doctor: "Jai let him know which direction the currents had pulled him, so he's looking in that direction. That's pretty much all we know. He has a huge amount of strength."

Through e-mail, the staff has learned that Jai has gone through a couple of surgeries on his knee, but is doing well. And they wait for word about their friend Stu and his daughter Kali. The staff at Jordan Valley Hospital is planning a prayer service for the Breisch Family tomorrow.

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