Update on Malala

The website of the British newspaper The Daily Mail had a detailed article yesterday on the status of Malala Yousafzai, now 15, who survived a Taliban assassination attempt. The young advocate for education is now being treated at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England.

Both The Daily Mail and The Times of India reported that vigils in support of Malala have taken place outside the hospital and elsewhere. According to an article published today in the latter:

Last night, 200 people, including Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and Christians, held a vigil for Malala outside her hospital.

The meeting held outside the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, included speeches from councillors, religious leaders and women's rights groups, The Sun reported.

From The Daily Mail:

She had been demanding education rights for women in Pakistan and the attack has provoked uproar around the world.

Dr Dave Rosser, medical director at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, said Malala will need a significant period of rest and recuperation before she has reconstructive surgery.

The teenager was struck just above the back of her left eye, with the bullet travelling down the side of her jaw and damaging the skull.

It went through her neck and lodged in the tissue above her shoulder blade on the left.

She was in a medically induced coma on arrival in Britain on Monday, but has regained consciousness.

Malala is unable to talk as she is still breathing through a hole in her neck following a tracheostomy and has been communicating in writing.

On Friday, she asked: ‘What country am I in?’ The hospital also confirmed she had been able to stand up.

This sounds very encouraging, but Dr. Rosser says that she is "not out of the woods yet." the bullet entered her skull above and behind her left eye, traveled down the side of her jaw into her neck and finally lodged in tissue abover her left shoulder blade. There has been some damage to her brain but it is not clear how serious it will be. Still, she has been responding to English and Urdu, and as already noted is able to write and seems to remember some things about the attack.

The hospital has established a web page about her at http://www.uhb.nhs.uk/malala where well-wishers can leave messages of support, make donations, and see updates on her condition.

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