February 9th, 2013
12:22 PM ET

Malala, teen education activist shot by Taliban, leaves hospital

By Richard Greene and Ashley Fantz, CNN

(CNN) - In a stunning story of survival and recovery, the Pakistani teenager whom Taliban gunman shot in the head in October has been released from a hospital.

Malala Yousufzai left Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England, on Friday. In the past two weeks, the girl famous for advocating that girls in Pakistan be educated - which stoked the ire of her attackers - proved her incredible strength by enduring two operations to repair her skull and restore her hearing.

READ: Malala's journey from near death to recovery

The gunfire caused swelling in Malala's skull and a break in the delicate bones that help turn sound into sensory impulses to her brain.

"God has given me this new life," she recently said, speaking for the first time on camera since the shooting. "I want to serve the people. I want every girl, every child, to be educated."Though the gunshots to her neck and head made many doubt that she would walk again, Malala continued to improve over the past several months.

"I can walk a little bit and I'm feeling better," the 15-year-old said on February 6.

At that time, she said she hoped to be fully recovered in a month.

READ: Pakistan's Malala: Global symbol, but still just a kid

Her medical team decided she was well enough to be discharged Thursday. The teen will continue her rehabilitation at her family's temporary home in Birmingham and will visit the hospital occasionally for outpatient appointments.

Malala has credited her survival to "the prayers of the people."

Her story captured worldwide attention, moving Pakistan to vow that it would more vigorously fight for girls' rights and against the Taliban. It also prompted global leaders to put pressure on the country to make good on those promises.

"Because of these prayers, God has given me this new life and I want to serve and I want every girl, every child to be educated," she said.

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