Malala to undergo surgery to receive Titanium plate covering for hole in skull, cochlear implant to restore hearing
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Malala to undergo surgery to receive Titanium plate covering for hole in skull, cochlear implant to restore hearing

Birmingham : United Kingdom | Jan 30, 2013 at 8:15 AM PST
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Eighteen-month-old Palestinian Mohammed Aqel is held by his father while recovering from a cochlear implant surgery

Malala chose Titanium over her own bone fragment to cover the missing area of her skull when asked by doctors of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, UK, reported CNN on Wednesday.

She will now be undergoing surgery at the hospital to have the hole in her skull covered and cochlear implants to have her hearing restored, Dr. Dave Rosser, medical director of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital said Wednesday in a news conference.

The surgery would take place in the next 10 days, said the hospital. It is expected that she will be able to leave the hospital within "two to three days" of the surgery, said Dr. Dave Rosser. He added that each procedure should take about 90 minutes and her full recovery could take another 15 to 18 months.

Malala was shot by a gunman in the head and neck in October 2012 as she rode home from school in Pakistan's Swat Valley. It was an attempt of Tehrik-e-Taliban (group of terrorists), which intended to kill her for her stand for the right of girls to get education.

The brain of the girl (only 15 years of age) swelled after the shooting, and doctors in Pakistan removed part of her skull, almost the size of a hand. Had this procedure not been performed the pressure in her cranium would have caused severe brain damage, likely killing her.

About the surgery performed by doctors in Pakistan, Dr. Dave Rosser said in the news conference, "There is no doubt that the surgery performed in Pakistan was life-saving."

About Malala, he said, "She's very lively. She's got a great sense of humor."

During the conference, Rosser also explained that Malala was recovering at an impressive pace and had faced her medical treatment with bravery.

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

The missing area of her skull for now is covered with soft tissue and is vulnerable to damage. Doctors could have covered the hole with the original piece of her skull, which she has carried under the skin since October, when a surgeon in Pakistan implanted it to keep the bone “alive.” Bone saving in this manner is common practice worldwide.

The bone, however, would have shrunk and Titanium is a better option, according to doctors. Titanium also has low chances of infection.

The cochlear implant will restore hearing to her left ear, in which she is at the moment deaf. The implant will restore enough function to the damaged ear to allow her to hear in three dimensions, which will be necessary for safety reasons, as it will enable her, to hear, for example, an approaching car, Dr. Rosser said.

Recently Malala went through surgery to reroute a facial nerve that was damaged in the attempt on her life, leaving part the left side of her mouth listless.

Malala’s love for education and her courage in standing up to the Taliban earned her Pakistan’s National Peace Award in 2011. Thousands of people have signed a petition for Malala to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

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Palestinian boy Mohammed Aqel is held by his mother while recovering from a cochlear implant surgery
Palestinian boy Mohammed Aqel is held by his mother while recovering from a cochlear implant surgery
Avaline is based in Islamabad, Federal Capital Area, Pakistan, and is a Reporter for Allvoices.
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