A PAKISTANI girl shot in the head by the Taliban has been discharged from hospital after months of treatment.
Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham officials said Malala Yousufzai (15) will be treated as an outpatient before being readmitted for further cranial re-constructive surgery at the end of the month, or in early February.
Experts have been optimistic that Yousufzai, who was airlifted to Britain from Pakistan to receive specialised medical care, has a good chance of recovery because the brains of teenagers are still growing and can better adapt to trauma.
Malala was returning home from school in Pakistan on October 9 when she was targeted because she had campaigned for girls' education.
She was admitted to the Birmingham hospital on October 15.
She was discharged from hospital yesterday, less than three months after the attack, after doctors decided that “she would benefit from being at home with her parents and two brothers”, officials said.
She had already left hospital a number of times for short home visits with her family.
Dave Rosser, the hospital’s medical director, said that Malala had "continued to make great progress in her treatment”.
"Malala is a strong young woman and has worked hard with the people caring for her to make excellent progress in her recovery," he said.
“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.”
Malala left hospital as it emerged that she was likely to secure permanent residence in the UK after her father was granted a job with the Pakistani consulate in Birmingham.
Ziauddin Yousafzai has been appointed education attache for three years, with the option of an extension for a further two years.
He and his daughter have had threats made against their lives by the Taliban since the shooting.
The Pakistani High Commission's decision makes it more likely Malala and her family will remain in Britain long-term.
The appointment came after Pakistan's president Asif Ali Zardari visited Malala and her father in hospital on December 8.
Mr Zardari was said to have assured Mr Yousafzai the Pakistani government would pay for Malala's treatment and all the family's needs while in the UK.
The teenager, from the town of Mingora in the Swat district of Pakistan, was pictured embracing medical staff as she walked out of hospital yesterday.
Over the past couple of weeks she has taken regular "home leave" to spend time with her father, mother Toorpekai and younger brothers, Khushal and Atul.
Her lengthy ordeal began when she was severely injured in a school bus shooting on October 9.
She received immediate treatment in Pakistan where surgeons removed a bullet which entered just above her left eye and ran along her jaw, grazing her brain.
The teenager was then flown to the UK and was admitted to the QEHB on October 15.
She was pictured in November sitting up in her bed reading cards and messages from supporters.
At the time her father issued a statement saying: "She wants me to tell everyone how grateful she is and is amazed that men, women and children from across the world are interested in her well-being.
"We deeply feel the heart-touching good wishes of the people across the world of all castes, colour and creed.
"I am awfully thankful to all the peace-loving well-wishers who strongly condemn the assassination attempt on Malala, who pray for her health and support the grand cause of peace, education, freedom of thought and freedom of expression."
He described the decision to fly his daughter to hospital in Britain as a "miracle" and vowed that she would "rise again".