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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 January, 2005, 10:11 GMT
Tsunami 'miracle' woman pregnant
Malawati speaking to the media in Penang, 03 January 2005.
Malawati did not expect her unborn baby to survive
An Indonesian woman who was discovered last week after surviving for five days in the Indian Ocean is pregnant, doctors have announced.

Malawati, in her early 20s, knew she was expecting a child but had not told her rescuers because she assumed she would have lost it in her ordeal.

"I'm very glad, very happy," she said on hearing the news, from her hospital bed in Penang, northern Malaysia.

However, her husband - who was swept out to sea with her - is still missing.

Doctors were stunned to discover, on giving Malawati medical checks following her rescue, that she was 18 weeks pregnant.

The foetus was alive and healthy, said Helena Tuanakotta, the Indonesian vice consul in Penang.

I saw sharks around me but prayed they wouldn't hurt me

Malawati has also been giving more details of her five days at sea.

"I almost drowned twice as I could not swim and was thrashing in the water trying to keep my head up when I chanced upon the tree trunk," she told The Star Online.

She survived by eating the fruit and bark of the sago palm she clung to.

"I slipped twice but managed to hold on," she was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency. "I saw sharks around me but prayed they wouldn't hurt me."

Malawati said she was looking forward to going home to Indonesia's Aceh province, but Ms Tuanakotta said the coconut farmer would probably stay in Malaysia until some of her relatives in Aceh are found.

On Wednesday, another Indonesian survivor of the tsunami arrived in Malaysia. Rizal Shahputra, 23, spent nine days at sea clinging to floating driftwood before being picked up by a passing container ship.


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