14/08/2014 16:50 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Dad Carried His Sick, Pregnant Wife 25 Miles To Hospital - But Baby Had Died

Dad carried his sick, pregnant wife 25 miles to hospital - to find out baby had died

A devoted dad carried his sick and pregnant wife on his back for a day-long 25-mile trek to the nearest town, only to discover that their baby was dead.

The Indian man, named as Ayyappan, decided he had to seek urgent medical help for his six months pregnant wife Sudha after she developed a fever, her body swelled up and she began convulsing.

When tribal medicine failed to work, and with the nearest doctor 25 miles away, the devoted husband decided that rather than leave his sick wife at home by herself while he sought help, he would carry her there on his back.

Ayyappan, who lives deep in the hilly Konni forests in Pathanamthitta district in Kerala, said: "I had no other way but to carry her to Kokkathode, a town nearby.

"We started early in the morning when it was raining heavily, but I was more concerned about wild elephants."

They reached Kokkathode in the evening, and were then taken by jeep to Pathanamthitta District Hospital, and then Kottayam Medical College Hospital, where his wife saw a doctor and was scanned.

Kunjamma Roy, head of gynaecology at the Kottayam Government Medical College Hospital, told The Hindu: "The patient was six months pregnant and had high blood pressure.

"Such cases can result in convulsions and her kidneys were affected."

Sudha was scanned, and a doctor broke the news to her and her husband that the baby had died in the womb.

The devastated young woman, who had suffered complications as a result of severe malnutrition that had also affected her kidneys, had to deliver her stillborn baby and is now recovering in hospital, Dr Roy said.

He said that although the couple' unborn child had died, the husband's actions had saved his wife's life.

The couple, who told doctors at the hospital that they had no money, are being looked after by a non-governmental organisation operating locally.