Pakistani girl stable in British hospital

14-year-old schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai spent a second comfortable night at the highly specialised Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. Photo / AP
14-year-old schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai spent a second comfortable night at the highly specialised Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. Photo / AP

The 14-year-old Pakistani girl shot in the head by the Taleban was in a stable condition in a British hospital today as well-wishers from around the world left her messages of support.

Doctors said Malala Yousafzai spent a second comfortable night at the highly specialised Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, central England, which is accustomed to treating British soldiers wounded in Afghanistan.

On Wednesday she "remained in a stable condition and continued to impress doctors by responding well to her care," a hospital spokesman said.

The teenager's family were still in Pakistan, he added.

Malala was shot on a school bus in the former Taleban 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.

She came to prominence with a blog for the BBC highlighting atrocities under the Taleban, the hardline Islamists who terrorised the Swat valley from 2007 until an army offensive in 2009.

The teenager had a bullet removed from her skull during an operation in Pakistan last week.

Donations towards her care, which is being funded by the Pakistani government, are being received by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital's charity while hundreds of people have left messages of support on the hospital's website, lauding her campaigning and praying for her recovery.

The hospital later announced that a special fund had been set up to deal with the influx of donations.

"When she is well enough we will ask her how she wants those donations to be spent in support of the care she is receiving," said the hospital trust's website.

The well-wishers are from countries including Pakistan, Britain, India, the United States, Libya, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Ireland, New Zealand, the Philippines, Rwanda and the Netherlands.

"We the Pakistanis are so sorry that a little girl like you had to stand up for all of us. If we had shown some courage you would have been safe and healthy today. Malala, get well please, we need you," wrote Durre Nayab.

"Please accept my and my family's gratitude for what you have stood for. You are a true daughter of Pakistan. We are in your debt forever. Get well soon," said Munir Pervaiz.

Ajmal Khan wrote: "We salute your courage and your commitment toward your cherished goal.

"I personally was in tears when I heard of your ordeal. But hopefully you will get well soon and start your mission again with the same spirit and agility."

A message book has also been opened at Council House, the headquarters of Birmingham's local authority.

Birmingham has a 100,000-strong ethnic Pakistani community - a tenth of the city's population.

Cards, letters and gifts to Malala are being handled by the city's Pakistani consulate.

- AFP

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