Malala Yousafzai says goodbye to the nurses at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. (AFP)
Jan. 4: Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot by the Taliban because she refused to abandon her campaign for girls’ education, has been discharged from hospital.
The 15-year-old was shot in the head by a Taliban assassin as she took a bus home from school in the country’s North West in early October.
She was flown to Britain shortly after and has been receiving life-saving treatment at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
She was discharged from hospital yesterday, less than three months after the attack, after doctors decided that “she would benefit from being at home” with her parents and two brothers, officials said.
She is set to undergo complex cranial reconstruction surgery later this month or early next month “as part of her long-term recovery”, doctors said.
In recent weeks she has left hospital during regular “home leave” visits to spend time with her father Ziauddin Yousafzai, mother Toorpekai and younger brothers, Khushal and Atul, the hospital said.
During those visits “assessments have been carried out by her medical team to ensure she can continue to make good progress outside the hospital”.
This led to the decision to authorise her release to her “temporary home” in the West Midlands, where she will continue her rehabilitation.
In pictures released today, she is seen wearing a scarf and a grey dress, waving and smiling at the camera with two nurses in the background.
In a separate video she is seen walking slowly from her room holding the hands of one of the nurses before waving at other members of staff and waiting cameras.
When she was shot on October 9 last year, the bullet entered just above her left eye and ran along her jaw, “grazing” her brain.
It was later removed by surgeons in Pakistan before she was flown to the UK. Her British doctors have been delighted with her ongoing recovery.
She has been treated by the hospital’s numerous specialist doctors and medical experts from Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
The medical team has included clinicians from Neurosurgery, Imaging, Trauma and Therapies. Dave Rosser, the hospital’s medical director, said that Malala had “continued to make great progress in her treatment”.
“Malala is a strong young woman and has worked hard with the people caring for her to make excellent progress in her recovery,” he said.
“Following discussions with Malala and her medical team, we decided that she would benefit from being at home with her parents and two brothers.
“She will return to the hospital as an outpatient and our therapies team will continue to work with her at home to supervise her onward care.”
Malala has said she wants to return to Pakistan but she will remain a target for as long as terrorism threatens the country, officials told The Daily Telegraph.