Malala: Shot Teen To Get Replacement Skull

David Crabtree, Midlands Correspondent

British doctors have revealed the remarkable medical procedures which will transform the life of a Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot in the head by the Taliban.

There was international outrage after the Taliban shot Malala Yousufzai, 15, at point blank range in the north western Swat district, because she was campaigning for girls' education.

Following the attack last October she was flown for specialist treatment at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

The bullet hit her left brow and instead of penetrating her skull it travelled underneath the skin, the whole length of her head and into her shoulder.

The shock wave shattered the thinnest bone of the skull and the soft tissue at the base of her jaw and neck were damaged. Her left eardrum was destroyed.

Within the next 10 days she will undergo two operations which will replace a missing area of skull and implant a complex electronic hearing device.

A 3D image has been released which shows the extensive damage caused to Malala's skull.

Surgeons at Birmingham say a 0.66mm titanium metal plate will be screwed into place, having been moulded from a 3D model created through the CT image of Malala's skull.

In a separate procedure a cochlear implant will be fitted, the type of device that provides a sense of sound to someone who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing.

A small area will be drilled in the skull behind the titanium plate to allow the electronics to be implanted.

Malala was released as an outpatient in early January to continue her recuperation at the family's temporary home in the Midlands with her father Ziauddin, mother Toorpekai and younger brothers Khushal and Atul.

Shortly after Malala arrived in Birmingham her father released a statement saying: "I am awfully thankful for all the peace-loving well-wishers who strongly condemn the assassination attempt on Malala, who pray for her health and support the grand cause of peace, education, freedom of thought and freedom of expression."

The Pakistan government has since given Malala's father a job in the UK. He has been appointed the education attaché at the Pakistan Consulate.

Since the attack, a campaign has gathered pace for Malala to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize after she became a symbol of the struggle for women's rights in Pakistan.


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