London: Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban, has been discharged from the Birmingham hospital where she was being treated.
The Queen Elizabeth hospital said she was well enough to be treated as an outpatient for the next few weeks. She was discharged on Thursday to continue her rehabilitation at her family’s temporary home in the West Midlands.
Dave Rosser, medical director at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS foundation trust, said: “Malala is a strong young woman and has worked hard with the people caring for her to make excellent progress in her recovery. 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.”
The hospital said she had been allowed home leave on a regular basis over the past fortnight to spend time with her father Ziauddin, mother Toorpekai and younger brothers, Khushal and Atul. Her family will be able to stay in the country for up to five years after her father was appointed to a diplomatic post at Pakistan’s consulate in Birmingham.
Malala is due to be to be readmitted in late January or early February to undergo cranial reconstructive surgery as part of her long-term recovery.
She was admitted to the hospital on 15 October 2012, six days after she was wounded in a school bus shooting which provoked worldwide condemnation and revulsion. She was targeted for “promoting secularism” by championing girls’ education. She had also highlighted Taliban atrocities in the Swat valley and, when younger, kept a diary for the BBC’s Urdu service.
There were calls for her to be awarded the Nobel peace prize. The foreign secretary, William Hague, said on Malala’s arrival that her bravery was “an example to us all”. The Taliban have vowed to target her again.
She underwent a life-saving operation in Pakistan, but was moved to Birmingham for advanced medical attention from staff who specialise in treating wounded members of the armed forces. The Pakistani government has been paying for her treatment and the upkeep of her family since she arrived in the UK. She was flown from Pakistan in an air ambulance provided by the United Arab Emirates and was visited by Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari in December, when he described her as a “remarkable girl and a credit to Pakistan”.
— Guardian News & Media Ltd