A Taiwanese hiker who got lost while trekking the Himalayas with his girlfriend was rescued by officials on Wednesday, three days after his partner had died.
Rescuers found Liang Sheng-yueh, 21, unconscious with his dead girlfriend, Liu Chen-chun, 19, on the banks of a river in Tipling in northern Dhading, Nepal, according to the Himalayan Times. Liang and Liu’s body were airlifted to a hospital in Kathmandu on Wednesday, two days before Liang’s birthday.
The couple was from Taiwan and both were students at the National Taiwan University, according to the Kathmandu Post.
Liang and Liu came to Nepal in late February to hike the Langtang mountain range in the district of Rasuwa. Their families reported them missing after they lost contact with them in early March. A search team was dispatched and had been looking for them for weeks.
Madhav Basnet, a rescuer, told CNN that the couple was hiking around the remote Ganesh Himal route without a guide when they got lost. They tried to follow the river hoping to find a village, but reached the edge of a waterfall instead.
The couple fell 100 meters into a ravine, then took shelter in a small cave where they were later found. They had been lost in the wilderness for 47 days, according to CNN.
“He was sleeping when we found them,” Basnet told the Guardian. “He woke up after he heard us. We were very surprised to find him alive. He said that the girl died three days earlier.”
Chakra Raj Pandey, medical director at the hospital in Kathmandu, said Liang “was not very stable psychologically,” according to CNN. When he was discovered in the mountains, rescuers found him with lice in his hair and maggots between his toes. Medical officials say he lost a total of 66 pounds during the ordeal.
In the hospital, Liang told the Agence France-Presse that the mountain was “very cold” and he had difficulty sleeping.
Officials say that Liang is now out of danger. He celebrated his 21st birthday in the hospital on Friday.