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October 12th, 2010
05:16 PM ET

Miners' ascent an ending and a beginning

Much has been written about their lives, their predicament and their health.

One by one, the 33 Chilean miners trapped in a gold and copper mine since the start of August are expected to be lifted out of the earth starting Tuesday night.

Their ascent could pose some risk to miners if they are re-introduced to sunlight abruptly. Or they could encounter dizziness, panic or minor cardiac issues while being inside the rescue capsule as it spins to the surface.

Military choppers are on standby to swoop into the heliport. Motorcycle police are on alert to escort a fleet of ambulances. Plans to rush 33 trapped miners to a hospital in Copiapo, the nearest town, have been made. Chilean hospital prepares for the arrival of 33 trapped miners

Rescue is only one step in a recovery process, NASA workers have said. Delicate recovery and re-integration of the miners are also needed in a longer process, they told CNN. Then there is their re-introduction to their families and society, and the pressures they will feel from others and the media.

During their 68 days of being nearly half a mile below ground, there were health concerns about their lack of sunlight, nutrition, confinement, sleep and sanitation.

The mental health of the miners was a major concern for Chilean authorities, Karl Penhaul reported.

For nearly two months, the trapped miners have depended on food, medicine and supplies being dropped to them through a 4-inch-wide lifeline. Once they've been extracted, they will have to deal with a certain level of celebrity status.

Dr. Michael Duncan, the deputy chief medical officer at Johnson Space Center told CNN, "The work is just beginning when the miners get out of the mine."


soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. shalonndramarie

    I read on another web-site that they are pretty well prepared for all of the scenerios they will be faced with. They have accounted for all Health issues that can arise all they want to do is keep the men calm while they are coming back up to the surface. This has truly been an incredible story Im sure they have a movie as well as interviews to follow. God Bless

    October 12, 2010 at 19:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Sandy

    I join the rest of the world in praying for their safe return to the surface and to their families. They and their families are a true testament to the world of the power of Christianity and the strength God provides. May He continue to bless these people!!! I'm waiting and watching with you, friends. God Bless!!

    October 12, 2010 at 20:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alexander

      Amen!
      May God bless you and all the people, so they will be wrapped in His eternal love for you!

      October 12, 2010 at 22:07 | Report abuse |
    • michelle

      Sandy, Are you saying that all of this is owed to Christ? That's a bit of a leap..

      October 13, 2010 at 07:30 | Report abuse |
  3. Sandy

    I join the rest of the world in praying for their safe return to the surface and to their families. They and their families are a true testament to the world of the power of Christianity and the strength God provides. May He continue to bless these people!!! I'm waiting and watching with you, friends.

    October 12, 2010 at 20:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Tammy

    for those who do not believe that God no longer performs miracles may I suggest you take another look and re~evaluate you thought and belief process?

    October 12, 2010 at 21:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nope

      I would have been more impressed if "God" had kept them out of this mess in the first place.

      October 12, 2010 at 21:24 | Report abuse |
    • Tammy

      Never blame God for man's shortcomings.

      October 12, 2010 at 23:00 | Report abuse |
    • Hangedman

      Science and technology might have had something to do with it, too.

      October 13, 2010 at 00:32 | Report abuse |
  5. Rose

    I anxiously hope and pray for the full rescue and safety of all the miners and those that will venture down to assist them. I pray too that their recovery, both physically and psychologically, will be swift. I just read about and looked at the rescue equipment and the harrowing dark ride and path each miner will need to travel to once again see the faces of their waiting loved ones. Godspeed!! http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/10/12/explainer.chile.mine.rescue/index.html?hpt=T1

    October 12, 2010 at 21:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Deron Triff

    The survival of the Chilean miners is extraordinary.

    I thought that your readers would be interested to know that the longest underground survival is actually an untold story of 38 Ukranians who silently slid down a muddy hole in the ground to escape the Nazis as they pushed across Eastern Europe. While the war raged above their heads, five Jewish families survived for 527 days, in two massive cave systems. Their story is the longest ever-recorded uninterrupted underground survival in human history.

    Cave explorer, Chris Nicola, uncovered this story in the mid 1990s when he, along with a group of elite Ukrainian cavers, were mapping Ozernaja (or Blue Lakes Cave). It is the 11th longest and 2nd largest gypsum cave system in the world. Deep inside the cavern, Chris stumbled upon objects left by the survivors -buttons, shoes, a grinding stone, even a house key and spent years trying to figure out if vague rumors were true – that with no gear or training, a group of desperate people had lived in this cave for months on end, and survived. When he finally did confirm the story’s authenticity, it turned out that more than a dozen survivors were still alive, one of them lived only 15 miles away.

    You can learn more about the story at http://sierratango.tama.co.nz/the-cave.php. In fact, this week we have a team in the Ukraine that is bringing several of the survivors back to their underground sanctuary some 60 years after the ordeal.

    October 12, 2010 at 21:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Matt in Oregon

      Very interesting. Thanks for posting the link.

      October 12, 2010 at 22:38 | Report abuse |
    • Jetcityblues

      I read about that. I think they interviewed an older lady who was too young to remember her two years in the cave, but thought it explained why she preferred to sit in a dark room whenever she was stressed. I also seem to recall some of the hideaways were chased and killed when they went out to forage for food and were caught....so horrible I cannot comprehend it.

      October 13, 2010 at 02:42 | Report abuse |
  7. L Hamilton

    God has got their back no doubt.
    These poor fellows will come out of this alright.
    We are never alone in this old world.

    October 12, 2010 at 22:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • 666

      IF their was a "god", he would have not let the mine collapse. Can you ask "god" about that?

      October 12, 2010 at 22:34 | Report abuse |
    • Tammy

      As I said earlier 666, never blame God for man's shortcomings. I'll pray for you. 😉

      October 12, 2010 at 23:12 | Report abuse |
    • morgan painter

      to 666

      Sometimes, as in the story of Job, satan accuses God of not playing fair. In that story satan claimed the only reason Job was faithful was because God protected him too much. He said something to the effect, "let me cause him distress and he will curse your name."

      So God used the accusation as an opportunity to let satan show his true character. satan caused Job to lose all his animals (wealth in those days), his children, and even covered him with sores. After all that, surely any angels who remained faithful to God could clearly see the kind of "God" satan would have made. Cruel, selfish, and hateful. NOT the kind of God I want.

      Because Adam and Eve chose to follow the path of sin God sometimes has to allow bad things to happen. It is just a consequence of living in a world that is not perfect.

      Who brought trouble to the world by leading Eve and then Adam to rebel against God?

      Not God, it was satan. Blame him for all this misery.

      October 12, 2010 at 23:33 | Report abuse |
  8. Matt in Oregon

    Im not into prayer but am definitely hoping that they all get out safely. I would really like to see some pics of their reuniting with family and friends if possible too. =D

    October 12, 2010 at 22:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tammy

      "hope" is a start Matt, you're heading in the right direction, I have "faith" that the Holy Spirit is working on you.

      October 12, 2010 at 23:03 | Report abuse |
  9. Name*lj

    These men need prayers for a supernatural recovery. Praying for their families as well. Godspeed.

    October 12, 2010 at 23:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. oilfeilds

    this is what our creator has been telling us all along "believe in me and you shall live" to see the joy of tears is very rare in a world of hate killing and dying. yes we do have a god that loves us all

    October 13, 2010 at 00:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. michelle

    It's amazing that 'Christ' is never blamed for any of the undesireable events on the planet, but he gets all the credit for the good stuff. Poor Satan, what a scapegoat he is.

    October 13, 2010 at 07:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. tonitee

    666 you are a DUMBASS

    October 13, 2010 at 07:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. tonitee

    So are you michelle

    October 13, 2010 at 07:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. michelle

    Oh my, isn't that unchristian? Jesus would not approve.

    October 13, 2010 at 07:45 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.