Connect to share and comment

Malala Yousafzai awake and standing, say British doctors

Malala Yousafzai has woken from her medically induced coma and is able to stand and communicate with assistance, the doctors treating her say.

Malala yousafzai pakistan prays protests october 2012 14Enlarge
A Pakistani demonstrator lights a candle during a protest against the assassination attempt of child activist Malala Yousafzai, in Karachi on October 11, 2012. The Pakistani child activist that shot in the head by the Taliban was airlifted to the country's top military hospital for specialist treatment, is still in a critical condition, officials said. The shooting of 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai on a school bus in the Swat valley has been denounced worldwide and by the Pakistani authorities, who have offered a reward of more than US$100,000 for the capture of her attackers. (ASIF HASSAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Malala Yousafzai is conscious and communicating, doctors treating her in Britain have said.

The teenage Pakistani activist was even standing with assistance Friday morning, for the first time since Taliban gunmen shot her in the head last week.

She is currently receiving treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, central England, where medical director Dr. David Rosser told reporters that she was "doing very well."

Malala is "communicating freely" via written notes, he said. She is unable to talk because of a tracheostomy tube in her throat, but doctors are confident that she'll be speaking again once the tube is taken out.

She gave permission for details of her condition to be made public, the Associated Press cites Rosser as saying, and also asked him to thank people around the world for their interest and support.

More from GlobalPost: Malala shooting suspect was held, freed in 2009

"She is not out of the woods yet," he warned. She is showing signs of infection from where the bullet travelled behind her left eye, through her jaw and into her shoulder.

In doing so it grazed the edge of her brain, causing "some damage to the brain, certainly physical," but so far doctors have not seen "any deficit in terms of function," Rosser said.

Had the bullet hit her a couple of inches further into her brain, the New York Times said, doctors believe Malala "almost certainly" wouldn't have survived.

She will be given the chance to rehabilitate for another two weeks before surgeons begin the process of reconstructing the damaged areas of her skull, according to the BBC.

More from GlobalPost: In Pakistan, some blame US for Malala attack

Yousafzai was shot on Oct. 9 in Swat Valley in northwest Pakistan, where the Taliban objected to her public advocacy of education for girls.

The chief suspect has been identified as a member of the local Taliban named Attaullah. Pakistani authorities said Thursday that they had detained three of his relatives, but are still searching for the suspected gunman and his accomplice, the New York Times reported.

Meanwhile Malala has been confirmed to be 15, not 14 as previously reported. The records give her date of birth as July 12, 1997, officials at her school told NPR.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/pakistan/121019/malala-yousafzai-awake-standing