The life-saving efforts of the medical team that worked on the North Korean soldier who daringly defected to the South about two weeks ago were documented by a CNN crew. During the surgery, the doctors were shocked and disgusted to find intestinal worms and parasites inside the young man’s body.

Watch: Inside the operation room (Warning: Footage may be disturbing to viewers)

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About two weeks ago, security cameras at the Korean Demilitarized Zone recorded the daring defection of a North Korean soldier. The 24-year-old North Korean was injured during his escape by his fellow soldiers. The team of South Korean surgeons who operated on him were shocked and disgusted by his poor state of health. With the soldier’s permission, CNN released the difficult pictures from inside the operation room.

The soldier was shot five times and had lost a lot of blood. He was also having trouble breathing. However, these were not his only medical problems. After the doctors managed to regulate his breathing, they discovered that the young man had several intestinal worms and parasites in his body, a clear sign of life-threatening malnutrition.

Inside the operation room

Inside the operation room Photo Credit: CNN/Channel 2 News

One of the doctors said that the soldier woke up distraught, fearing that he was still in North Korea. “He actually asked me, ‘is it really South Korea?’ And I said, ‘have a look at that flag. Have you ever seen that flag in North Korea?’” she told CNN.

The worms

The worms Photo Credit: CNN/Channel 2 News