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Sat Feb 9, 2013 2:32AM
Students light candles during a prayer vigil for Malala Yousafzai at the Sacred Heart Cathedral School in Lahore on October 19, 2012.

Students light candles during a prayer vigil for Malala Yousafzai at the Sacred Heart Cathedral School in Lahore on October 19, 2012.

Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban in October, has been discharged from a British hospital after a “good recovery” from her latest surgery. The 15-year-old, who underwent successful surgery on her skull and ear in a five-hour operation at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham on February 2, left the hospital on Thursday after her medical team decided she was well enough to be discharged. Surgeons replaced part of Yousafzai’s skull with a titanium plate and inserted a cochlear implant in her left ear to restore hearing. On Friday, the Queen Elizabeth hospital said Yousafzai had made a good recovery and would continue her rehabilitation nearby at her family's temporary home in Birmingham and visit occasionally for outpatient appointments. In an interview recorded before the surgery, the teenager said, "Today you can see that I am alive. I can speak, I can see you, I can see everyone and I am getting better day by day. It's just because of the prayers of people. Because all people -- men, women, children -- all of them have prayed for me. "And because of all these prayers, God has given me this new life, a second life. And I want to serve. I want to serve the people. I want every girl, every child, to be educated. For that reason, we have organized the Malala Fund." On October 9, 2012, Yousafzai was shot by Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants in the town of Mingora for speaking out against the fanatics and promoting education for girls and women in her home region, the Swat Valley of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. A day after she was shot, a bullet which hit Yousafzai’s skull was removed by surgeons in Peshawar. She was later transferred to a military hospital in Rawalpindi for more specialist treatment. On October 15, Yousafzai was flown to Britain for specialist care at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham after Pakistani doctors said she needed treatment for a damaged skull and “intensive neuro-rehabilitation.” Doctors stated that although the bullet hit Yousafzai just above her left eye, it did not penetrate her skull but only travelled underneath the skin along the side of her head and into her neck. In December 2012, Pakistan and UNESCO unveiled the Malala Plan, which aims to get all the girls in the world into school by the end of 2015. Malala's father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, attended the ceremony where the plan was announced, along with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, at the Paris headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). GJH/HGL
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