Entries in Medical Treatment (2)


Malala Yousufzai Is Speaking, Shows No Sign of Brain Damage

ABC News(BIRMINGHAM, England) -- The 15-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl who was nearly killed by the Taliban for being an outspoken advocate for girls' education is talking and shows no sign of brain damage, according to Pakistani officials who have been briefed by her doctors.

Malala Yousufzai is showing remarkable improvement, despite her being shot point blank by a Taliban gunman in northern Pakistan's Swat Valley two weeks ago.

"She is making dramatic progress, and we are very pleased at how she's doing," Pakistan's ambassador to the United Kingdom, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, told ABC News.

Yousufzai's parents flew to Birmingham Thursday and visited their daughter at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, which treats British casualties of war and specializes in trauma medicine and the kind of treatment Yousufzai needs.

Hospital officials declined to comment on Yousufzai's condition, but doctors have said she is making steady progress and is likely to make a good recovery.

Before Yousufzai's parents left Pakistan, her father, Ziauddin, vowed that he would return to his country with his daughter -- despite Taliban promises to keep targeting the girl who has become a global icon of courage.

"We will be back in Pakistan as soon as Malala recovers, because Swat is my home, and I cannot think of leaving there," he said in a statement released by Pakistani state television.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, he called his daughter's recovery "miraculous."

"I have seen doomsday and survived, you might say," said Ziauddin, who ran the girls' school that Malala attended despite Taliban threats. "Malala has been honored by the nation, by the world, by people of all classes of all creeds of all colors. I am grateful for that. But I am a father. I respect all those feelings, but the only priority now is the life of my daughter and her total rehabilitation. I don't need any awards. ... I need my daughter."

Despite Yousufzai's progress, she has a long way to go. Doctors have said she will be in the hospital for months and need skull reconstruction. One of the bullets that hit her grazed her skull, chipping the bone but not penetrating her brain. That likely saved her life and prevented the kind of brain damage that her family feared.

Yousufzai first spoke out for girls' education in 2009, when she was 11 years old. The Taliban had taken over most of the Swat Valley, blowing up schools and preventing girls from getting an education. Thousands of girls' schools were destroyed and girls who attempted to study feared getting kidnapped or attacked with acid.

Most politicians refused to criticize the Taliban, but Malala Yousufzai had the courage to speak out. She launched an anonymous blog and began to give interviews in English about the importance of continuing her schooling.

Today, her health is apparently good enough that she can think about continuing her studies.

Standing next to Ziauddin Yousufzai in Islamabad, Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik noted that Malala had asked her father to bring textbooks with him.

"The mission she has taken forward and the education awareness that has spread across Pakistan is all Malala's doing," he said, according to Pakistani television. "So I think that our entire nation should be proud of her love for the soil of her country."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Cheng Guangcheng Seeking Medical Treatment in Hospital

STR/AFP/GettyImages(BEIJING) -- Cheng Guangcheng, the blind human rights activist who escaped house arrest and was widely believed to be under the protection of the United States Embassy in Beijing, is seeking medical treatment at Chaoyang hospital in Beijing and has reunited with his family, according to a senior U.S. official.

Sources tell ABC News that U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke, Legal Advisor to the Department of State Harold Koh and Assistant Secretary of State for Asian and Pacific Asian Affairs Kurt Campbell escorted Chen to the hospital where was reunited with his wife, Yuan Weijing, and their two small children. It is not known how long Chen will remain at the hospital. U.S. officials will continue to be able to meet with him while he is there.

China is demanding an apology from the U.S. for allowing Chen to enter the embassy. U.S. officials continued to decline to comment on his whereabouts until Wednesday, but in a statement the Chinese Foreign Ministry has said that Chen spent six days at the U.S. embassy and left of his own volition.

The unexpected diplomatic crisis has arisen at a sensitive time. The news of Chen's whereabouts came just hours after Secretary of State Hilary Clinton arrived in Beijing to attend the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. Top level officials on both sides have been locked in intense meetings on the fate of Mr. Chen for days.

The U.S. has long called for human rights reform in China, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton singling Chen out by name in the past.

Topics expected to be addressed at the SED meetings include nuclear proliferation in Iran and North Korea, currency evaluation and international trade—key issues on which the U.S. is seeking more significant Chinese support. The Republican administration is also accusing the U.S. of being "soft" on China, further complicating finding a resolution on Chen's future.

Dissident sources emphasize that Chen does not want to leave China for the U.S. and has never sought asylum. Hu Jia, a friend and fellow activist, told ABC News the Chen firmly believes that staying in China is critical to his fight against corruption and injustice. Chen only entered the U.S. Embassy, Hu said, because his supporters believed the police were aware he was in Beijing and they could no longer keep him safe.

Outside Chaoyang hospital, Jian Tianyong, a human rights lawyer who has worked with Chen in the past, told ABC News that he received a phone call from Chen once he had arrived at the hospital. Jian said that Chen is still in poor health and has been in need of medical attention for several years.

Chen first came to international attention in 2005 for exposing the abortions and forced sterilizations of women in China's rural communities as part of the country's One Child Policy. In 2006, he was sentenced to more than four years in prison for likely trumped up charges of disturbing public disorder.

Upon his release he was placed under extrajudicial house arrest at his home in Dongshigu. On Sunday April 22, Chen made a daring escape from what he has described in videos released online as a brutal house arrest in Shandong Province.

The whereabouts of He Peirong, the young activist who drove Chen to Beijing, remains unknown. Sources in the dissident community say she was last heard from on Friday April 27 and is believed to be in police custody.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio