LONDON: Malala Yousafzai has been discharged from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham to a temporary but undisclosed home in the West Midlands, at a short distance from the hospital.
Malala, 15, who was shot in the head by the Taliban, was flown to the UK for specialist care. Doctors at the QEH have been delighted with her recovery and have decided to treat her as an outpatient.
The hospital said on Friday that Malala will visit the hospital regularly to attend clinical appointments and is due to return for cranial reconstructive surgery in the end of January or early February.
Dave Rosser, Medical Director at the 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.
In pictures released by the hospital, she is seen wearing a scarf and a grey dress, waving and smiling at the camera with two nurses in the background. The video footage shows her walking slowly from her room holding the hands of one of the nurses before waving at other members of staff and waiting cameras. 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.
She was admitted to the hospital on October 15, 2012, six days after she was wounded in a school bus shooting which provoked worldwide condemnation and revulsion. 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.
It is almost certain now that Malala and her family will secure permanent residence in the UK after her father Ziauddin Yousafzai was appointed education attaché at the Pakistani consulate in Birmingham by the government of Pakistan. Ziauddin Yousafzai has received his appointment letter. His appointment was discussed at a meeting on December 8 when President Asif Ali Zardari and Aseefa Bhutto Zardari visited Malala and assured Ziauddin that the Pakistani government would pay for Malala’s treatment and all the family’s needs while in the UK.
In a statement, the West Midlands Police said it continued to work with the hospital and the family “to provide support and liaison as Malala recuperates from her injuries”. The force said it would be inappropriate to comment on the ongoing policing operation.