I Am Malala Questions and Answers
by Malala Yousafzai

I Am Malala book cover
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How did Malala survive?

In I Am Malala, Malala survived being shot thanks to her tenacity and the swift action of medical professionals. Colonel Junaid undertook the initial and critical life-saving surgery which gave her brain room to extend, and she later recovered under the care of Dr. Javid Kayani and Dr. Fiona Reynolds.

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When Malala became a prominent figure in the fight against extremism, she was targeted and shot by a Taliban gunman. Her injuries were severe, and Malala credits Colonel Junaid, a surgeon working for the Pakistani Army, with saving her life.

After the shooting, she was airlifted to the Combined Military Hospital in Peshawar, and without this intervention, she almost certainly would have died. Her brain had been swelling due to a splintered bone, but thanks to the surgery undertaken by Junaid, the brain was given the space that it needed to begin the long process of recovery.

Later, Malala was transferred to the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology, where visiting British physicians gave her the care needed to survive. Complications set in, however, when Malala's blood stopped clotting, and it looked as though she could go into renal failure.

Her survival depended on being transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England, which was facilitated by Doctors Javid Kayani and Fiona Reynolds. After multiple surgeries in Birmingham, Malala had a long road to recovery. The procedures she underwent included being fitted with a cochlear implant to restore her hearing and having part of her skull replaced with titanium plates. She also had speech and memory-related difficulties to overcome, but thanks to the timely interventions of the medical professionals involved, she survived.

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