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Malala praises the work of facial rehabilitation therapists

7 October 2013 - 9:52am

The work of CSP members at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital in restoring the face of Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai - shot in the face for defying the Taliban - will be seen by millions worldwide tonight.


A facial physiotherapy session with Malala and Sally Glover will be screened on BBC1 tonight. Photo: Panorama/BBC

Clinical specialist physiotherapist Sally Glover has been involved in Malala’s rehabilitation from day three of her admission. She is nearing the end of her recovery and is due to be discharged from Ms Glover’s care at the end of the year.

Malala had two major operations to reconstruct her face and a cochlear implant to restore hearing in her left ear.

A facial physiotherapy session with Malala and Ms Glover and facial physiotherapist  colleague Suzi Allen will be screened on BBC1 tonight at 8.30pm in an exclusive interview for Panorama.

File 118653 Clinical specialist physio Sally Glover (left) with Malala and Suzi Allen after a treatment session three months ago

‘Suzi and I were filmed for two hours and then we and Malala were interviewed by journalist Mishal Hussein where we discussed the objectives of facial rehabilitation, emphasising that it is not just about how you look but your ability to communicate via expression and language.’

The Birmingham service is one of the largest facial teams in the UK.

Other elements of Malala’s care to be featured by Panorama involve the work of Nicola Cartwright, team lead for neurology during Malala's in-patient stay.

The rehab involved balance retraining, improving hand-eye coordination and a cognition game with occupational therapist Sarah Winters.

Panorama will give the first major interview with Malala since she was shot in the head by terrorists in Pakistan one year ago this week. Now 16 she has now become a global symbol of the fight for girls’ education.

In the documentary, Malala describes how she stood up to the Taliban when they tried to close her school, and reflects on the day she was shot on her school bus. She also tells about her battle for recovery in the Birmingham hospital and about her new life in the UK – juggling school in Birmingham with speeches and meetings on the world’s stage.

The interview will be broadcast on the BBC in the UK, on BBC Urdu and on BBC World News, the BBC’s international news channel which broadcasts to more than 350 million households around the world. It will also feature on BBC World Service and The interview will coincide with a similar interview conducted by Diane Sawyer of ABC, who are the BBC's partners in the USA.

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