University Hospitals Birmingham via AFP - Getty Images
Malala Yousufzai speaks to critical care consultant Dr. Mav Manji at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England, after she underwent surgery.
A Pakistani schoolgirl who underwent reconstructive surgery in Britain after being shot in the head by the Taliban said on Monday she felt much better and was focused on her mission to help others.
A team of doctors carried out a five-hour operation on 15-year-old Malala Yousufzai on Saturday to mend parts of her skull with a titanium plate and help restore hearing on her left side with a cochlear implant.
Speaking 24 hours after waking up from surgery at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, central England, Yousufzai said she was already walking around.
Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old shot by the Taliban in October, spoke to the media for the first time Monday and thanked them for their prayers, which she says has given her new life. NBC's Keir Simmons reports.
"I can walk a little bit, I can talk and I'm feeling better," she said from her hospital bed in a video clip released by the hospital.
"I think I will just get better very soon, and there will be no problem. The thing is my mission is the same, to help people, and I will do that," she said.
Yousufzai was shot in the head at point-blank range in October by the Taliban for advocating girls' education, and was brought to Britain for treatment.
Doctors at the hospital said they were impressed by her recovery so far and hopeful she would be discharged fairly soon, describing her as focused and enthusiastic.
"She should be feeling sorry for herself 24 hours after an operation like that, not talking about helping other people," said Dave Rosser, the hospital's medical director.
Fifteen-year-old Malala Yousufzai was shot by the Taliban for speaking out against Pakistani militants and promoting education for girls.
The attack on Yousufzai, as she left school in the Swat valley, drew widespread international condemnation, and the schoolgirl has become a symbol of resistance to the Taliban's efforts to deny women education and other rights.
"There's still a lot of support (for Yousufzai) coming in, a lot of communication coming in from around the world," Rosser said.