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Doctors Optimistic for Girl Shot by Taliban

Posted on Oct 19, 2012
AP/B.K. Bangash

A poster held by supporters pays tribute to Malala Yousafzai in Pakistan.

Malala Yousafzai, the Pashtun teenager and women’s rights activist who was shot in the head in early October by Taliban gunmen in northwest Pakistan, could make “pretty much a full recovery,” her doctors in Britain said.

Yousafzai has not shown “any deficit in terms of function,” doctors said, and she is able to write notes and stand, albeit with help. The bullet that could have killed her grazed her brain when she was shot at point-blank range on a school bus after promoting female education and criticizing Taliban militants. Doctors said she will need a couple of weeks to rehabilitate before her skull can be reconstructed and her jaw repaired.

Upon waking from a medically induced coma on Tuesday, Yousafzai is said to have asked, “Which country am I in?” She has been able to express thanks for the support she has received from people around the world.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Guardian:

Doctors say she has memory but they have not talked to her about the shooting. “From a lot of work we have done with our military casualties we know that reminding people of traumatic events at this stage increases the potential for psychological problems later, so we wouldn’t do that,” [Dr. Dave] Rosser said.

He said Malala was aware of her surroundings, and though she couldn’t talk because she had a tracheotomy tube, she had given permission for medical details to be revealed, and wanted to thank everyone for their support.

… Rosser said it was too early to say whether there would be “any subtle intellectual or memory deficit down the line”. But in terms of function, “she is able to understand, she has some memory, I am led to believe, she is able to stand, she’s got motor control, she’s able to write. It certainly would be over-optimistic to say that there is not going to be any further problems, but it is possible she will make a smooth recovery. It’s impossible to tell.”

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