Fifteen-year-old Malala Yousufzai, who was shot at by the Taliban in October and brought to Britain for treatment, was discharged on Thursday but is due to be re-admitted in late January or early February for reconstructive surgery to her skull, doctors said.
“Malala Yousufzai was discharged from Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham as an inpatient yesterday to continue her rehabilitation at her family’s temporary home in the West Midlands,” the hospital said in a statement.
The shooting of Yousufzai, in the head at point blank range as she left school in the Swat valley, drew widespread international condemnation.
She has become an internationally recognized symbol of resistance to the Taliban’s efforts to deny women education and other rights, and more than 250,000 people have signed online petitions calling for her to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her activism. Time magazine had shortlisted Malala for its ‘Person of the Year’ in 2012.
Doctors at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham where Yousufzai was treated said although the bullet hit her left brow, it did not penetrate her skull; instead, it travelled underneath the skin along the side of her head and into her neck. She was treated by doctors specializing in neurosurgery, trauma and other disciplines in a department of the hospital which has treated hundreds of soldiers wounded in conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“Malala is a strong, young woman and has worked hard with the people caring for her to make excellent progress in her recovery,” said Dave Rosser, the hospital’s medical director.
“Following discussions with Malala and her medical team, we decided that she would benefit from being at home. 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,” he said.
Yousufzai has already been leaving the hospital on a regular basis on “home leave” in recent weeks to spend time with her parents and younger brothers, who have a temporary home in central England, Rosser said.
The inspiring tale of malala yousufzai
The Taliban, hoping to enforce a ban on girls’ education, orders all private schools closed in Swat Valley where Malala lives. Malala subsequently writes a diary about the harrowing experience for the BBC’s Urdu site.
The Taliban seizes complete control of the Swat Valley, and begins to freely patrol the city of Mingora. Dozens die and thousands flee. A peace deal between the Pakistani government and the Taliban collapses. Later, the Taliban is routed from the area, but pockets of militants remain, and they force their harsh rules on citizens.
Malala, who continued to speak out on behalf of all Pakistani girls, is awarded the country’s first National Peace Prize for Youth, with a $10,500 award.
Malala, now in the eighth grade, speaks with the website Think Twice Pakistan about a possible career in politics. “My purpose is to serve humanity, fight for their rights,” she says.
October 9, 2012
On her way home from school, Malala is shot in the head when Taliban gunmen pull over her school bus and ask for her by name. She is rushed to a hospital, and then later transferred to another facility in Peshawar for emergency surgery. The Taliban claim responsibility, and promises “to finish this chapter” because of Malala’s ongoing “obscenity.”
October 10, 2012
Doctors successfully remove a bullet lodged near Malala’s spine. Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik obtains a passport for the young girl, and the head of PIA, the national airline, offers to pay all expenses for Malala to be flown anywhere in the world for treatment should she need it.
October 15, 2012
Malala air-lifted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham for further specialist treatment.
January 3, 2013
Malala awarded the 2012 Tipperary
International Peace Award from
Ireland for her courage and determination to speak out in support of equal access to education for children.