After Russia and the U.S. reached an agreement to swap prisoner, former U.S. Marine Trevor Reed was released.His parents had hinted that an agreement was near over the past few days. On Wednesday morning they received the call that it was finalized.
Reed's father Joey Reed said that Reed is doing better, as Norah O'Donnell, "CBS Evening News" anchor, stated Wednesday afternoon.
After their son boarded a Turkish plane, Joey and Paula Reed spoke with him. This was in exchange for Konstantin Yaroshenko (Russian national), who was released in exchange for Joey Reed. Yaroshenko was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in the U.S. on charges of cocaine smuggling.
His father stated that Reed seemed "a bit subdued" during his call. "Maybe in shock. But then we spoke with him... approximately an hour ago. He sounded much more normal and got some fluids & food into his system."
Paula and Joey Reed knew that Reed was not tortured in prison, but Joey Reed said Reed endured "horrible, detention-type conditions".
"If you watched the video of him getting out the FSB van today you will see that he is very thin. Joey Reed stated that he seemed frail to us.
Three weeks before Reed was released, his parents demanded Russian authorities show evidence that he was still breathing. They cited Reed's "rapidly declining" health.
Joey Reed and Paula Reed stated that their son was out of time on April 6th, while calling on the Biden administration for help in bringing their son home.
Reed's parents were able "re-establish indirect contact" just a few days later.
Paula and Joey Reed had previously stated to CBS News that their son was suffering from tuberculosis and a rib injury. They also claimed that he wasn't receiving the proper medical care.
To raise awareness about their son's case, the couple protested outside of the White House on March 30, and were then invited inside to meet with the president.
"I heard Trevor's parents' worry and how they missed him. "And I was delighted that we could share with them the positive news about Trevor's liberation," President Biden stated in a Wednesday statement.
Although the Reeds claimed that the meeting saved their son's lives, the White House says the exchange was months in the making.
Joey Reed said that President Biden "saved our son's lives today." My son was likely never going to give up. He had made it his mission not to listen to anything the Russians said. He was paying the price. We feared his body would collapse before his mind."
On Wednesday morning, the couple met with Mr. Biden and expressed their gratitude.
He said that he was looking forward to seeing the four of them back at the White House. We told him that we would love to give him big hugs when we see him. He said that he would give them big hugs back," Paula Reed shared with O'Donnell.
Reed was sentenced in 2020 to nine years imprisonment for assaulting two Russian officers on a drunken night. Reed claimed he doesn't remember the incident and pleaded guilty. His trial was also criticized by the United States government.
Wednesday's White House statement also stated that it is committed to bringing back Paul Whelan (another former U.S. Marine in Russian prison on espionage allegations that the U.S. government and his family claim are fabricated) "and other." Brittney Griner, a professional basketball player, has been detained in Russia since February on drug charges.
Paula Reed shared her heartfelt condolences to O'Donnell. We had kind of hoped that it would happen, but it didn't. Our hearts are broken for them. We will continue to advocate for them, and we will try to bring them back home.