Pakistani girl improving

CAROL MARTINDALE, carolmartindale@nationnews.com

Added 24 October 2012

malalayousufzaiinhospital

LONDON (AP) — The British hospital treating a 15-year-old Pakistani girl shot in the head by the Taliban raised hopes for her recovery Friday when doctors said she was able to stand with some help and to write. Malala Yousufzai appeared with her eyes open and alert as she lay in a hospital bed, in the first photographs released by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham since she arrived from Pakistan. It was a series of positive developments since the shooting, which was a brazen bid by the Taliban to silence the girl, who has been an outspoken advocate for girls' right to education. Still, doctors said she shows signs of infection and faces a long, difficult recovery with uncertain prospects. "She is not out of the woods yet," hospital medical director Dr. Dave Rosser said. "Having said that, she's doing very well. In fact, she was standing with some help for the first time this morning when I went in to see her." He said Malala had agreed to the release of medical information and photos, and wants to thank people throughout the world for their interest and support in the difficult days since she was gunned down in Pakistan. He said her bullet wound has become infected. A large bruise beneath her left eye could be seen in the photo released Friday, showing Malala in her hospital bed with a toy bear. The upbeat report galvanized Malala's many backers, who had feared the worst. Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari, daughter of the late Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto, described Malala's progress as wondrous.

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