Taliban victim Malala making 'steady progress'

 

A 15-year-old schoolgirl who was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman is making steady progress after a week in hospital, medical staff have said.

Malala Yousafzai was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham after being injured in Pakistan, and has since received thousands of good will messages.

A statement from the hospital said: "Malala continues to make steady progress and is in a stable condition at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

"She has now been in the hospital for one week, under the care of a specialist team from both the Queen Elizabeth and Birmingham Children's hospitals.

"More than 4000 messages of support have been posted on the Trust's website."

Doctors at the hospital have said the bullet which struck the teenager just above her left eye had grazed the edge of her brain.

Dr Dave Rosser, medical director of the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, said Malala will need a significant period of rest and recuperation before she undergoes reconstructive surgery.

In a media briefing last week, the doctor said the teenager had been able to stand up and communicate freely with medical staff.

She has been unable to talk due to a tracheostomy tube, but has been communicating by writing.

Malala was travelling home from school with two classmates in north-west Pakistan when shSchoolgirl shot in head by Talibane was shot, believed to be at point-blank range, and the bullet which just above the back of her left eye and came within inches of killing her.

It travelled down through the side of her jaw, damaging her skull and jaw joint on the left hand side, and went through her neck and lodged in the tissues above her shoulder blade.

Dr Rosser said: "The bullet grazed the edge of her brain. Certainly if you're talking a couple of inches more central, then it's almost certainly an unsurvivable injury."

The teenager, who was attacked after promoting the education of girls and criticising Taliban militants, was initially treated by neurosurgeons at a Pakistani military hospital before being flown to the UK.

Foreign Secretary William Hague has described the shooting as a "barbaric attack".

PA

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