Sun, Apr 30, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Rescued trekker has birthday in hospital

‘DEEPLY TROUBLED’:The hiker’s doctor said his condition has improved and he was walking on Friday morning, but that he is still pained by the loss of his girlfriend

AFP, KATHMANDU, Nepal

Taiwanese trekker Liang Sheng-yueh waves to reporters during his birthday celebration at Grandee International Hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal on Friday.

Photo: AP

Taiwanese trekker Liang Sheng-yueh (梁聖岳), who was rescued on a Nepal mountainside seven weeks after going missing, on Friday marked his 21st birthday in a Kathmandu hospital, where he was recovering from an ordeal that left his girlfriend dead.

Liang survived in the wilderness despite losing 30kg, but his girlfriend, Liu Chen-chun (劉宸君), died just three days before a team found the couple in northwest Nepal.

Liang was airlifted from the remote region after 47 days during which he initially survived on potatoes and noodles, then on nothing except salt and water.

It was a somber birthday celebration for the young hiker, who was served cake in the ward where he was slowly regaining strength.

“I’m sorry that everyone had to worry about me and be concerned for me. In future I think I will consider being more careful. I will live my life when back in Taiwan,” he said in English.

The pair had followed a river downstream, but became stuck after reaching the edge of a waterfall and was unable to climb back up.

Dawa Tamang, a local man who helped the search team, said he followed the river until he spotted some bags by the bank.

He called rescuers after spotting the pair taking shelter inside a nearby cave, he said.

“I thought they were dead,” Tamang said. “I told others they were in there in a loud voice, and he threw the tent off and looked out like a frog. He joined his hands when he saw me.”

The area where the pair was located was so steep and narrow that a long line was needed to airlift them out.

Doctors treating Liang said that, beside his extreme weight loss, maggots had infested his right leg and he was extremely weak.

Liang’s condition had improved since and he was walking on Friday morning, but he was still deeply troubled by Liu’s death, his doctor, Chakra Raj Pandey, said.

“He is pained by the loss of his girlfriend. When he was rescued ... he didn’t want [to] come back alone,” she added.

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