A Pakistani official speaking anonymously to the press reported that he has received a report from her doctors and Malalai Yousufzai has moved her arms and legs at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England. The news is being applauded as evidence that the 14-year-old activist will recover from her horrific injuries. The hospital’s official statement simply said that she is in “stable condition and continued to impress doctors by responding well to her care. Carole Cole, the hospital’s acting head of communications said there will be more news on Thursday.
The Taliban has threatened to complete their mission to murder Malalai. Since her family is still in Pakistan, British police have started detaining persons who show up at the hospital to “visit” Malalai claiming to be relatives. The British have been taking her security very seriously, providing her ambulance a police motorcycle escort from the airport to the hospital on Monday.
The Pakistani official did not elaborate as to whether Malalai’s movements were reflexes as her limbs were stimulated or if she has been awakened from her medically induced coma and is responding to vocal commands. Hopefully, Thursday’s briefing by the hospital will provide more information about the course of Malalai’s rehabilitation and condition. One of the few things we do know is that, like Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Malalai had to have part of her skull removed to allow her brain to swell without damage after the surgery to remove the bullet from near her spine.
Traumatic brain injury experts have explained that teenagers have a better chance of full recovery because their brains are still growing and have not reached full stop in their development.
And, support for Malalai keeps growing. Remember how we followed every tiny little development when Gabby Giffords was shot? We are a nation of 312 million people who were obsessed with the recovery of one woman. Malalai’s recovery is being followed by billions, Muslims and non-Muslims, women and men, anyone who believes in her cause and is stunned by the depth of her courage.