Liu Chen-chun, left, and Liang Sheng-yue set off on a trek, but only one will go home. (Picture via Facebook)
Wednesday A pair were found. Only one of them was alive.
Liu Chen-chun, Liang Sheng-yue’s 19-year-old girlfriend, died three days before rescuers arrived, according to reports. Her remains were airlifted from the region along with Liang, who had been conscious when rescuers spotted him in a close to the the Narchet River across the distant Ganesh Himal route west of Kathmandu.
That Liang wasn’t just alive, but aware came to Madhav Basnet, one of three rescuers who helped get Liang into a hospital on Wednesday.
“In our heads, we never thought they’d be alive,” Basnet, an official of Kathmandu’s Asian Trekking Agency, told CNN. “So when we discovered that the boy alive, we got scared for a second. He greeted us by saying ‘Namaste.’ He was very happy.”
According to Dr. Chakra Raj Pandey of the Grande International Hospital in Kathmandu where Liang was hauled, the living hiker “looks fine” overall. Liang had to have a method to remove maggots from his right leg, in addition to his head shaved to eliminate lice. Pandey told CNN, however, “we must be vary particular and very careful to give him great nourishment.”
Liang, 20, told rescuers that he hadn’t eaten for “several days,” and, it may have been longer than that. Liang reportedly lost more than 60 pounds over the 47 days he spent wandering the Himalayas, based on the Taipei Times.
The pair set out on their journey but by early March their families had ceased receiving updates from Liu and Liang. Soon after that, a hunt was started by Nepali officials. It is believed the pair got sidetracked by a snowstorm, which led them to seek shelter. With just 10 days worth of food in their packs, however, they immediately found themselves in an emergency situation.
The couple finally set off in hopes of finding a village but got stuck where they ran into a waterfall at the ravine when they continued downhill to a river. Without the ability to climb back up, all the couple could do was wait for someone to see them.
“They had a fall of about 100 meters on one side and a steep uphill on the other,” Basnet told the Taipei Times. “They were trapped.”
The wait was long and, without proper shelter, also uncomfortable, according to Liang, who told the Taipei Times it was “very cold” and difficult to sleep.
A day after the rescue of Liang, his recovery went well, based on Basnet, who told CNN that Liang slept well and ate six meals of soup.
The biggest concern now is Liang’s mental health, according to Dr. Pandey, who explained the man’s psychological state as “not very stable”
Chou Chiang-chieh, a friend of the few who talked to the media Thursday, said Liang continues to grieve the loss of his girlfriend.
“She [Lui] fought to live in the Himalayas for so long and I am really sad she did not make it,” Chou told the Taipei Times. “It’s such a shame, she’s like family to me.”