Malala Yousafzai to have surgery to repair skull

Jan 30 2013, 22:26 IST
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Malala Yousafzai to have surgery to repair skull. AP Malala Yousafzai to have surgery to repair skull. AP
SummaryDoctors hope this would be the last operation that she will have to undergo

Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban for promoting girls' education, will undergo a fresh operation to have a Titanium plate fixed in her skull, doctors said today.

In the next 10 days, Malala will undergo a three-hour procedure to attach a titanium plate to a large hole in her head and to implant a cochlear hearing device to replace her destroyed eardrum.

Doctors hope this would be the last operation that she will have to undergo.

The procedures, which will be carried out by the same surgeons who treat British soldiers injured in Afghanistan, will set the teenager on a road to recovery that will allow her to kick-start her work as a global advocate for girls' education and to begin a relatively normal life in Birmingham.

Dr Dave Rosser, medical director at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where she was treated said: "Malala's recovery is remarkable and it's a testament to her strength and desire to get better.

"There is no doubt that the surgery she underwent in Pakistan was life saving. Had that surgery not been of such a high standard she would have died".

Dr Rosser said Malala's full recovery could take another 15 to 18 months.

He said the missing part of Malala's skull had been put in her abdomen by surgeons in Pakistan to "keep the bone alive".

Doctors in Birmingham have chosen to use a metal plate to repair her skull instead of the bone in her abdomen, which they say may have shrunk.

He said Malala has wants to keep the bone once it has been removed.

Malala was shot point blank, three times last October. One of the bullets hit her left brow and traveled under the skin along her head.

The bullet itself did not damage her skull, but its shock wave shattered her skull's thinnest bone and damaged the soft tissues at the base of her jaw and neck, according to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

Malala came to prominence when, as an eleven-year-old, she wrote a diary for BBC Urdu, giving an account of how her school in Mingora town dealt with the Taliban's 2009 edict to close girls' schools.

Her love for education and her courage in standing up to the Taliban, earned her a national peace award in 2011.

The Pakistan government has given Malala's father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, a job in Birmingham as the education attache at the Consulate of Pakistan

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