A homeless woman was on the brink of death when charity workers spotted her with maggot-infested holes in her head and got her the treatment she needed for the gruesome injuries. (Warning: The photos below are graphic.)
The volunteers, who were with nongovernmental organization Apna Ghar, reportedly found 30-year-old Preeti Devi crying by the side of the road and immediately took action to help her, reported Daily Mail.
When they saw the extent of the festering wounds, they called for an ambulance and had her transported to to their center, where they treated her.
It was a five-month process, but Devi miraculously made a full recovery.
"What Apna Ghar and its volunteers have done for me no one will do for a stranger," Devi said, according to Daily Mail. "Their generous act has restored my faith in humanity. I was dying a slow death by the road. If these angels hadn't spotted me and nursed back to health, I would have been dead by now."
She said that she was living in her hometown of Bihar, India, when a group of people brutally attacked her and left her wounded and fearing for her life around May.
She decided to flee the area and ran away to Rajasthan, on the northwestern side of the country, where she lived on the streets until her helpers arrived and helped give her a fresh start.
"I intend to go back home and start a new life," Devi said after healing from her injuries.
Apna Ghar has eight centers across India and is looking to open more, the organization said on its Facebook page. Founded in 2009, it defines its mission as serving "the helpless destitute persons who are facing a very painful phase of life."
According to DNA India, it is not unheard of for maggots to crawl into untreated, infected wounds on peoples' hands and feet, but for them to do so on somebody's head and eat away at it is rare.
"These infections emit an odor and that attracts the flies to lay their eggs," surgeon Jeetendra Sankpal told DNA India.
In 2009, the staff at Sankpal's hospital reportedly removed hundreds of maggots from a 26-year-old homeless man's head after he suffered an infected wound. The maggots ate through his skin and muscle tissue and had worked their way down to his skull, but he somehow still managed to walk and talk even as maggots were falling off his head with every step. He too made a full recovery after doctors extracted the larvae and dead tissue.
"It was surprising to see that his vital functions were fine," the hospital's honorary associate professor of surgery, Dr. Vivek Tilwani, said at the time. "In a decade of treating maggot infections, we have never come across such a case where the head has been eaten up."