PETALING JAYA - "You are the hero in my heart", says the wife of the former Thai Navy SEAL who lost his life while helping to rescue 12 boys and their football coach from a flooded cave complex.
Australian publisher The Sydney Morning Herald said Petty Officer First Class Saman Gunan's widow Waleeporn Gunan had told the British broadcaster BBC that she was proud of her "hero" husband.
"If you ask me if I'm sad, it's like I've died but I'm still alive," she was quoted as saying.
Waleeporn said her late 38-year-old husband loved helping others, doing charity work and also getting things done.
"He's been praised as a hero because of who he was," she said.
Saman was laying oxygen tanks along the underwater cave complex, but fell unconscious about 1.5km away from the cave entrance.
A fellow diving buddy found Saman unconscious in the water and had tried to pump his heart. However, the buddy could not save his life.
The Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn has ordered that Saman's funeral be given full honours.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Waleeporn said that she would always remember her husband as a "loving, caring man", adding that they used to talk to each other throughout the day.
"In other people's eyes, he's lovely. For me I love him so much, I really love him.
"Every day before he left for work we said we loved each other.
"Saman once said we never knew when we would die, we can't control that, so we need to cherish every day," she said.
The report also said that Saman's father, Wichai Gunan, was proud of his son, but was very sad at his passing.
"Daddy loves you," he said.
On Tuesday (July 10) night, the last members of the group of 13 from the "Wild Boars" football team were brought out of the flooded cave and taken to a hospital located about 70km from the Tham Luang cave.