Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Final ops for 'remarkable' Malala

Malala Yousafzai is to have a custom-made titanium plate fitted to her skull at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham

A "remarkable" teenage girl shot in the head by the Taliban is to undergo surgery for what doctors hope is the last time.

Malala Yousafzai, 15, is to have a custom-made titanium plate fitted to her skull and a cochlear implant to help her recover hearing in her left ear.

Dr Dave Rosser, medical director at the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, where Malala is receiving treatment as an out-patient, said both procedures were routinely carried out at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

Malala has been receiving treatment at the hospital since she was transferred there after being shot in Pakistan by the Taliban in October last year for promoting women's rights.

Dr Rosser said Malala was a "remarkable young woman" who had made great progress in her recovery.

He also said she was fully aware of the threats the Taliban had made against her life, but has said she would continue to champion her cause.

"She's not naive at all about what happened to her and the situation in terms of her high profile," he said. "She's incredibly determined to continue to speak for her cause."

Both surgical procedures will be carried out within the next 10 days and will take about 90 minutes each.

Dr Rosser said it could take "between 15 and 18 months" for any hearing to recover in her left ear but added that in time she would have almost normal levels of hearing, thanks to the surgery.

It was also revealed that the damaged portion of missing skull had been implanted in Malala's abdomen - where it remains - in case it was needed to repair her skull at a later date. However, surgeons have now decided instead to fit the metal plate.

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