GOOD NEWS

Fiona Reynolds, Heroic Doctor Who Was With Malala After She Was Shot, Finally Speaks Out

10/14/2013 06:19 pm ET

Malala Yousafzai has been inspiring the world nonstop recently, moving everyone from the Obamas to Jon Stewart with her unrivaled determination and charm.

Now the story of her miraculous recovery is coming to light exactly one year after she was nearly fatally shot by the Taliban, with Malala encouraging the doctors who saved her life to leave doctor-patient confidentiality behind and tell her story.

Fiona Reynolds is an intensive care specialist at Birmingham Children's Hospital, and she was in Pakistan advising on a new transplant program when news of Malala's shooting broke, ABC News reports.

Reynolds was meeting with powerful Pakistani general Ashfaq Kayani when the attack took place, and he ordered a helicopter to evacuate Malala to a military hospital in Peshawar -- something that is rarely done for civilians.

The Sunday Mail reports that General Kayani asked Reynolds if she would go with him to the hospital.

The army said they couldn’t guarantee my safety if I went to Peshawar," Reynolds told ABC News. “But, by the time I was asked, I knew why she had been shot. She was an advocate of education, a girl who wanted to be educated. The only reason I was in Pakistan was because I’m an educated woman. So I couldn't say no."

The bullet caused swelling that put tremendous pressure on Malala's brain, and army neurosurgeon Col. Junaid Khan performed the emergency surgery that saved her life.

But it was Reynolds who recognized that the poor intensive care facilities in Peshawar could result in brain damage or death, even after the initial surgery was a success, ABC reports.

The unit only had one sink, and it was broken. The doctors were measuring Malala's blood pressure with a cuff every few hours, instead of using an arterial line that measures the pressure every few seconds. So Reynolds recommended that Malala be moved to a facility in Birmingham.

Since Malala's father still had the rest of their family to look after, Reynolds was assigned as the teenage hero's legal guardian for the eight-hour flight from Pakistan, the Sunday Mail reports.

With years of experience in moving critically ill children, Reynolds got Malala safely to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where she eventually made an almost complete recovery.

Even Reynolds' family and friends didn't know of her involvement with Malala's treatment until she recently told her story.

"She asked everyone to be named in her book, and I didn't want to be named, but Malala said the book had to be the truth," Reynolds told Sky News.

Also on HuffPost:

16 People More Honest Than The Political Candidates
Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS