Updated: Doctors, Father of UVA Student Otto Warmbier Hold News Conference

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Otto Warmbier being transported off a medevac plane (FILE IMAGE) Otto Warmbier being transported off a medevac plane (FILE IMAGE)
Fred Warmbier holding a news conference Fred Warmbier holding a news conference
Otto Frederick Warmbier pleading to North Korean officials  (FILE IMAGE) Otto Frederick Warmbier pleading to North Korean officials (FILE IMAGE)
Dr. Daniel Kanter Dr. Daniel Kanter

Otto Warmbier's father and officials at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center are providing updates on the condition of the 22-year-old University of Virginia student. Otto was released from North Korean custody earlier in the week.

"My wife, Cindy, is at Otto's side this morning as she has been since the moment he returned from Ohio. She wanted me to tell you that she knows that Otto is a fighter, and she and I firmly believe that he fought to stay alive through the worse that the North Koreans could put him through in order to return to the family and community he loves," said Fred Warmbier.

The father held a news conference in Ohio Thursday, June 15. He wore the same jacket Otto wore during his video confession to a North Korean court last year.

Otto Warmbier was rushed to the hospital Tuesday, June 13, once he arrived back in the U.S. His parents say he has been in a coma for the past year.

"I'm proud of Otto and the courage he showed by going to North Korea and having that adventurous side to him. And, so, the fact that he was taken and treated this way is horrible, and it's tough to process. But we're tremendously proud of him. And so we're looking to the future," said Fred Warmbier.

Otto Warmbier was arrested in January of 2016 after authorities said he was trying to steal a propaganda banner.

The North Korean government claims Warmbier had botulism and went into a coma after taking a “sleeping pill” in March 2016, the same month he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

"Even if you believe their explanation of botulism and a sleeping pill causing the coma, and we don't, there is no excuse for any civilized nation to have kept his condition secret and denied him top notch medical care for so long." Fred Warmbier said.

The director of communications for the medical center said that Otto is in stable condition, but has suffered a severe neurological injury.

During a news conference Thursday afternoon, doctors said the UVA student is in, “a state of unresponsive wakefulness.”

"He [Otto Warmbier] has spontaneous eye opening and blinking, however he shows no signs of understanding language, responding to verbal commands or awareness of his surroundings. He has not spoken, he has not engaged in any purposeful movements or behaviors," said Dr. Daniel Kanter with UCC Medical Center.

Medical tests conducted that Warmbier has extensive loss of tissue in all regions of the brain.

"We have no certain or verifiable knowledge of the cause or circumstances of his neurological injury. This pattern of brain injury, however, is usual seen as a result of cardio-pulmonary arrest where the blood supply to the brain is inadequate for a period of time resulting the death of the brain tissue," Kanter explained.

Physicians also say they found no signs of botulism or any evidence of bone fractures. They also say Otto’s skin was in good condition and he is well nourished.

North Korea says it released Otto Warmbier for "humanitarian reasons".

Fred Warmbier is calling on the country to release of any other Americans held there.