Three months after she was shot in the head for daring to say girls should be able to get an education, a 15-year-old Pakistani hugged her nurses and smiled as she walked out of a Birmingham hospital.
Malala Yousufzai waved to a guard and smiled shyly as she cautiously strode down the hospital corridor talking to nurses in images released Friday by Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
“She is quite well and happy on returning home — as we all are,” Malala’s father, Ziauddin, told The Associated Press.
Malala, who was released Thursday, will live with her parents and two brothers in Britain while she continues to receive treatment. She will be admitted again in the next month for another round of surgery to rebuild her skull.
Experts have been optimistic that Malala, who was airlifted from Pakistan in October to receive specialized medical care, has a good chance of recovery because the brains of teenagers still are growing and can better adapt to trauma.
“Malala is a strong young woman and has worked hard with the people caring for her to make excellent progress in her recovery,” said Dr. Dave Rosser, the medical director for University Hospitals Birmingham. “Following discussions with Malala and her medical team, we decided that she would benefit from being at home with her parents and two brothers.”
The Taliban targeted Malala because of her relentless objection to the group’s regressive interpretation of Islam that limits girls’ access to education. She was shot while returning home from school in Pakistan’s scenic Swat Valley on Oct. 9.