BIRMINGHAM: Malala Yousafzai, the schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban, has been able to stand with help for the first time, doctors treating her at a British hospital said Friday.
She is also communicating by writing notes, said Doctor Dave Rosser, the medical director at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, central England, where the teenager was taken to from Pakistan on Monday.
Rosser said she was now able to write and appeared to have memory recall despite her brain injuries.
“It’s clear that she’s not out of the woods yet,” Rosser told reporters, saying she had sustained a “very, very grave injury”. But he said she was “doing very well”.
“In fact she was standing with some help for the first time this morning. She’s communicating very freely, writing,” he said.
Rosser said, however, that the teenager was not able to speak because she had undergone a tracheotomy so she could breathe through a tube in her neck, an operation that was performed because her airways had been swollen by the bullet.
Malala was shot on a school bus in the former Taliban stronghold of the Swat valley last week as a punishment for campaigning for the right of girls to an education, in an attack which outraged the world.
“Malala Yousufzai’s condition this morning is comfortable and stable,” the hospital said in a statement.
“Malala’s family remain in Pakistan at this time,” it added.
ITV television reported that the hospital was trying to arrange for her to listen to her father on the telephone, though she is currently unable to talk.
“We know there was some damage to the brain, certainly no physical, no deficit in terms of function,” it quoted a spokesman as saying.
A hospital spokeswoman told AFP Malala was 15, not 14 as previously stated.
The 15-year-old child activist was injured when she was shot in the head by Taliban and is currently under treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
Doctors had earlier said that Malala’s condition was stable and she was comfortable.
A team of doctors from both Queen Elizabeth and Birmingham Children’s Hospital are looking after her.
People the world over prayed for Malala’s recovery.
American actor and former UN goodwill ambassador for refugees Angelina Jolie urged the Nobel Peace Prize awarding committee to give “serious consideration” to “brave” Malala.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik had also announced that the Sitara-e-Shujaat will be awarded to Malala.