The Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban and treated in Birmingham walked out of hospital today – three months after she was gunned down at point blank range for standing up for women’s rights.
Looking frail but firm on her feet, Malala Yousafzai, 15, hugged and waved goodbye to staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where she has undergone months of life-saving surgery to remove the assassin’s bullet from her brain.
She will continue her rehabilitation at the family’s temporary home in the West Midlands before undergoing major reconstructive surgery in a few weeks.
Malala’s bravery has moved the world in the months since she was targeted by the Taliban in Pakistan for heroically speaking out for women’s rights and freedom of access to education in the country.
In October last year a Taliban hitman burst onto her school bus in Swat, northern Pakistan, and shot her at point-blank range. 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 for specialist treatment at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital. The Taliban have vowed to target her again.
Medics said that Malala will be re-admitted later this month or early February to undergo reconstructive surgery on her skull.
Since Malala was shot there have been a number of candlelit vigils in Birmingham and across the world to pray for her recovery.
Celebrities including Madonna and Angelina Jolie have joined millions of people across the world to support Malala.
There are growing calls for her to be considered for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Since her arrival in Britain there have been concerns for the teenager’s safety.
Just a day after she was admitted, well-wishers had to be turned away from the hospital after they turned up claiming to be family members.
And in November the shooting, banned hate preacher Sheikh Omar Bakri sparked global outrage when he threatened to issue a fatwa – a death sentence – against Malala – when he branded her “a traitor to Islam.”