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A still from a United Nations video feed that show Oh, shot, in a pile of leaves as he defected. United Nations

The North Korean soldier who was shot while defecting to South Korea last week had a number of health problems before getting injured while crossing the border.

The soldier was identified by the surname Oh and is 24-years-old. North Korean soldiers shot over 40 bullets at him and he was hit four to five times while escaping. The soldier's surgeon, Lee Cook-jong, said Oh had four major wounds from the daring defection - captured on a United Nations video feed.

Oh crossed the heavily guarded 2.5-mile border that separates the two Koreas called the demilitarized zone. South Korea soldiers found Oh in a pile of leaves in the Joint Security Area, a place on the border where officials from both sides can come to meet. Oh was evacuated to a hospital for surgery, and lost more than half of his blood by the time he got there. He was in stable condition after several surgeries, a marked improvement from his condition over the weekend.

“His condition is good. It’s much better than we thought. The major operational procedures have been accomplished very successfully, but he is still in a dangerous state given his poor liver function and chest x-ray. There is a penetrating wound in his left chest,” said Lee at the press conference. “The patient will not die.”

Complicating Oh’s recovery were a number of health problems he had before crossing the border. Oh had two types of roundworms, according to the Korean Biomedical Review, parasitic worms that sit in the intestines, preying on their hosts. One of the parasites was almost a foot long. They were discovered when surgeons were repairing Oh’s intestinal tract from bullet wounds. Roundworms are typical of poverty-stricken countries with poor hygiene.

Roundworms are contagious and often are often spread through contact with infected feces. North Korean farmers lack chemical fertilizer and often use human feces to fertilize crops, according to the Washington Post Monday, which can help parasites spread.

Oh also had Hepatitis B, a viral infection that affects the liver and can cause chronic disease. Hepatitis B is spread through contact with infected blood or is sexually transmitted, according to the World Health Organization. Additionally Oh had latent, or inactive Tuberculosis.

While Oh is recovering, he is also experiencing a whole new cultural world. North Korea bans most types of outside media, and Oh was watching movies and television that would come with jail time if he was caught with back home.

“I have started talking with the patient, and we have been joking around about K-pop and movies,” said Lee. “Patients may suffer from hallucinations as they wake up in the trauma center, so we are avoiding talks and other acts that might aggravate his conditions. We turned on the television for him since Tuesday, and he seems to like American sitcoms and K-pop music such as Girls' Generation.”

One show, in particular, Oh seems to like is “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” according to Lee.

It remained unclear what motivated Oh to defect.