Pakistani girl shot by Taliban to have skull reconstructed

LONDON Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:04pm IST

Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai (C) waves with nurses as she is discharged from The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham in this handout photograph released on January 4, 2013. REUTERS/Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai (C) waves with nurses as she is discharged from The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham in this handout photograph released on January 4, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Queen Elizabeth Hospital

LONDON (Reuters) - A Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating girls' education is to return to a specialist hospital in Britain for surgery to reconstruct her skull.

Fifteen-year-old Malala Yousufzai, who was shot in October and brought to Britain for treatment, was discharged from the hospital earlier this month to spend time with her family after her initial treatment phase.

Her doctors said on Wednesday she would return to hospital within the next 10 days to undergo surgery known as titanium cranioplasty to repair a missing area of her skull with a specially moulded titanium plate.

The shooting of Yousufzai, in the head at point blank range as she left school in the Swat valley, drew widespread international condemnation.

She has become an internationally recognised symbol of resistance to the Taliban's efforts to deny women education and other rights, and more than 250,000 people have signed online petitions calling for her to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her activism.

British doctors who treated Yousufzai say the bullet hit her left brow but instead of penetrating her skull, travelled underneath the skin along the side of her head and into her shoulder.

The shock wave shattered the thinnest bone of the skull and the soft tissues at the base of her jaw were damaged. The bullet and its fracture lines also destroyed her eardrum and the bones for hearing, rendering her deaf in her left ear.

She is being cared for in a specialist department of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, central England, which has treated hundreds of soldiers wounded in conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Dave Rosser, the hospital's medical director, said a procedure to insert a cochlear implant to restore her left side hearing and the complicated skull reconstruction surgery would be carried out by a team of 10 doctors and nurses.

The skull will be repaired with a 0.6 mm plate moulded from a 3D model created using imaging data from Malala's skull.

The cranioplasty, which is expected to take between one and two hours, will be carried out first, followed by the cochlear implant operation, which should take around 90 minutes, Rosser said in a statement. (Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

FILED UNDER:

Diplomacy

Reuters Showcase

Microfinance

Microfinance

Funding the unfunded: India helps small business borrow to grow  Full Article 

Insurance Sector

Insurance Sector

UK healthcare firm Bupa sees strong growth in India  Full Article 

Market Eye

Market Eye

FTSE adds nine Indian firms as large-caps in Asia-Pacific ex-Japan index   Full Article 

China Economy

China Economy

China signals "new normal" with lower annual growth target  Full Article 

E-commerce

E-commerce

China backs e-commerce expansion in win for Alibaba, JD.com  Full Article 

Monsoon Season

Monsoon Season

Exclusive - India expects better monsoon rains this year  Full Article 

'India's Daughter'

'India's Daughter'

Documentary on 2012 Delhi gang rape banned in India  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage