Malala to undergo final surgery to repair skull

London: Doctors treating Pakistani teenage rights activist Malala Yousafzai today said the 15-year-old girl, who made a remarkable recovery after being shot in the head by Taliban, will soon undergo one final surgery to repair a missing area of her skull.

Surgeons at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital today gave details about two procedures due to be carried out on Malala in the next 10 days.

She was discharged from the hospital earlier this month after being shot in the head by the Taliban in October 9 Pakistan's Swat valley. The first procedure will involve drilling into her skull and inserting a custom-made metal plate. Doctors said Malala was completely deaf in her left ear after being shot at point blank range.

The shockwave destroyed her eardrum and the bones for hearing. The second procedure will involve fitting a small electronic device that provides a sense of sound to someone who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing. Both procedures could take a total of four-and-a-half hours.

Dr Dave Rosser, medical director at the QEHB, said: "Her recovery is remarkable and it's a testament to her strength and desire to get better."

He said her full recovery could take another 15 to 18 months.

Rosser said the missing part of Malala's skull had been put in her abdomen by surgeons in Pakistan to "keep the bone alive". Doctors in Birmingham have chosen to use a metal plate to repair her skull instead of the bone in her abdomen, which they say may have shrunk.

Rosser added Malala has asked to keep the bone once it has been removed. The Pakistan government has given Malala's father, Ziaududdin Yousafzai, a job in Birmingham as the education attache at the Consulate of Pakistan for at least three years.