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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Pakistani Schoolgirl Activist Leaves Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmigham

By Peter Wooding
Europe Bureau Chief for ASSIST News Service

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND (ANS) -- Teenage campaigner Malala Yousafzai who was shot in the head by the Taliban is on the road to recovery after being discharged from a hospital in Birmingham, England, according to the BBC.

Malala with her family before being discharged from hospital

The 15-year-old from the town of Mingora in the Swat District of Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province was being treated at Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEHB) after being transferred following the attack in October. She will continue rehabilitation at her family's temporary West Midlands home.

The Taliban said it shot Malala, a campaigner for girls' education, for "promoting secularism".

The shooting, in a school bus, sparked domestic and international outrage.

The BBC added that Malala was returning home from school in the north-western Swat district on 9 October when gunmen stopped her vehicle and shot her in the head and the chest.

Reports said she received immediate treatment in Pakistan where surgeons removed a bullet which entered just above her left eye and ran along her jaw, grazing her brain. T

he teenager was then flown to the UK and was admitted to the QEHB on 15 October to receive specialist treatment. Over the past few weeks, Malala has been leaving the hospital on home visits to spend time with her father Ziauddin, mother Toorpekai and younger brothers, Khushal and Atul.

The University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust said doctors believe she will continue to make good progress outside the hospital. The schoolgirl is due to undergo cranial reconstruction surgery in late January or early February.

Dr Dave Rosser, the trust's medical director, said: "Malala is a strong young woman and has worked hard with the people caring for her to make excellent progress in her recovery.

"Following discussions with Malala and her medical team, we decided that she would benefit from being at home with her parents and two brothers.

"She will return to the hospital as an outpatient and our therapies team will continue to work with her at home to supervise her care."

Since the shooting, Malala and her father have had threats made against their lives by the Taliban.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague tweeted: "Delighted #Malala is well enough to leave hospital.

"The future Pakistan she dreams of is one we must support."

Malala came to prominence when, as an 11-year-old, she wrote a diary for BBC Urdu, giving an account of how her school in Mingora town dealt with the Taliban's 2009 edict to close girls' schools.

Her love for education, and her courage in standing up to the Taliban, made her an icon of bravery and earned her a national peace award in 2011.

The family has received thousands of cards, gifts and messages of support from well-wishers since arriving in the UK.

In a statement in November, her father said the family "deeply feel the heart-touching good wishes of the people across the world of all castes, colour and creed".

He added: "I am awfully thankful to 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."

Tens of thousands of people have also signed a petition calling for Malala to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.


Peter Wooding is an award-winning TV, radio and print journalist and media consultant under the name of Peter Wooding Productions (www.peterwoodingproductions.com). Having previously spent 10 years as news editor with UCB Radio in the UK, he has travelled extensively reporting from countries including Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, Dubai, South Korea, Zambia, Gambia, Mozambique, Croatia, Israel and India. He now reports regularly for CBN News, ASSIST News Service, GDOP London, Sorted Magazine and Christian Concern. Peter and wife Sharon live in North Wales, UK with their three children. Passionate to see Godís Justice and Mercy impact lives, Peter is director of a new UK ministry(www.mercyprojects.co.uk>) to help at-risk young people in Ukraine, Russia, Armenia, Kosovo, the Middle East and beyond. Contact Peter for consultation at: peter@peterwoodingproductions.com or tel. +44 1244 549167/+44 7500 903067


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