A trek that saved his wife

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Tribal in Kerala forest carries pregnant wife on his back

Kottayam: The loving and valiant deed of a husband who carried on his back for miles on end his pregnant wife all the way from the hilly tribal interior to the nearest town, and reached a hospital late at night, was being widely hailed on Monday in Kerala.

But Ayyappan succeeded only partially as the doctors found the six-month-old foetus lifeless.

“He might have failed to save his child, but he could save his wife,” Kunjamma Roy, Head of the Department of Gynaecology at the Kottayam Government Medical College Hospital, said on Monday.

Ayyappan, a tribal living deep in the Konni forests in Pathanamthitta district, married Sudha more than eight months ago.

“We were living with Sudha’s father and two sisters,” he said. His relatives lived some distance away in the forest.

When Sudha became pregnant, there was no doctor anywhere around whom they could consult. Recently she developed fever and we met a homoeo doctor,” Ayyappan said.


“Last week her body developed swelling, and she developed convulsions. I had no other way but to carry her to Kokkathode, a town nearby. It was a day’s walk away. We started early in the morning when it was raining heavily, but I was more concerned about wild elephants. We reached Kokkathode in the evening, and a kind man took us to Konni in his vehicle. From there we went to the Pathanamthitta District Hospital in a jeep,” the sturdy young man said.

But Sudha was referred to the Kottayam hospital and the couple arrived there early on Wednesday.

“The patient was six months pregnant and had high blood pressure. Such cases can result in convulsions and her kidneys were affected,” said Dr. Roy.


A scan showed that the child was lifeless. Yet, she had a normal delivery, said Dr. Roy. According to doctors, Sudha’s condition is now improving.


The couple had no money with them when they arrived here.

They were taken care in Kottayam by a non-governmental organisation functioning at the Medical College Hospital.

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