A Brave Girl's Recovery

Act 3: "I think death didn't want to kill me," Malala told Diane Sawyer.
7:32 | 10/11/13

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Transcript for A Brave Girl's Recovery
Reporter: In a hospital in birmingham, a 16-year-old girl is still fighting for her life. The doctors have no idea if she can move or see of express herself in any of the three languages she mastered fluently. She has been under deep medication. And then, one evening a week after the shooting -- I just open my eyes in the hospital in birmingham. I didn't know where I was. She had this very frightened look in her eyes. Her eyes were darting back and forth. Reporter: She has tubes down her throat, so dr. Kayani brings her an alphabet board. It is in english, and she points to letters. First the word "country" and then the word "father." She wanted to know where her father was. She wanted to know who was going to pay for the medical treatment. Reporter: She was so worried about not being able to pay? Every day for several days, who was paying. And she actually believed the reason her father wasn't there was either he was dead -- was one of the possibilities in her head. Or that he was back in pakistan selling everything they own for her medical treatment. Reporter: Because the tube keeps her from speaking, dr. Reynolds gives her a pink notebook so she can write her questions. Then, on the same day, i wrote my father. Have no money. I told her that the pakistan government was paying. And she didn't believe me. Reporter: The days pass in a blur of confusion, pain. She is seeing double. She can hear nothing from her left ear. And the left side of her face doesn't move. In the pink notebook, she is writing scrambling the letters. But there is something she wants to know urgently. I had written, "who did this to me?" Like who did this to me? Why? Who shot me? And then what happened to me? I was asking dr. Fiona. Dr. Reynolds will not give patients traumatic news when they're still under medication. She says they simply relive it over and over again. Reporter: But eventually with malala, she knows she has no choice. She was getting herself into a state, so I had to tell her the truth. And the truth was she'd been shot. She was asking me, "was it a bomb?" And I said, "no, it was something bad." And she said, "well, if it wasn't a bomb, what was it?" So I said, "you were shot." And she just looked at me. She didn't respond. She didn't react. She just looked at me. After a few moments, she said, "it was the taliban, wasn't it?" And I said, "i believe so, but i don't know for certain." Reporter: She asks for a mirror. And the teenager who used to worry about her tiny stature, her difficult hair, now says she looked and thought her hair was so small. And I just looked at myself like this in the mirror. And then I just was thinking in my mind the taliban comes. They cut your hair. And then they shoot you. I thought they cut my hair. I didn't know that the doctors did it for the surgery. Reporter: In the pictures you can see her face. The small dots are burns from the gunpowder. There are burns on her fingers, too. That's how close the gun was. She is incredibly stoic, she had to have suchers in her scalp and a needle put in her neck. On both occasions she didn't wince or cry when they were sticking needles into her. I didn't cry. I skmanged after that incident. But I don't know how I changed. I don't know what happened to me. I have to say, who can do this? We all cry. I am feeling this is a new life. Reporter: Then her family enters the room and she falls apart. When we entered the room her face moved right, and she lost her smile, her laughter. Reporter: It will be the only time she breaks. When my father and mother came it was the first time i cried and wept as much as i could. It was a great moment for me. Reporter: Once again her champion is her father. She relearns to walk, part of her skull has been replaced with a titanium plate. And because of that severed nerve, the laughter is gone. Her face won't move. Try again for me like that. And then a -- Reporter: Another surgery to reconnect the nerve on her face. She practices trying to smile every day and even though her eardrum is shattered forever, we are there when she gets the cutting edge new technology, the kouk here implant. I am going to say days of the week, friday, saturday, sunday feeling very happy. And I said like, "malala, you have heard something in your left ear. And now it's getting better." Reporter: Her body is mending, but on the outside, everyone is wondering -- what about her conviction? What about malala's public voice? What do you see ahead for her now? She used to be able to play and have friends. And also, she's been through so much. It was a very personal attack. How do you cope with being targeted at age 15. Reporter: At the same time in a distant corner of the globe, the taliban are still sending messages. Death threats, hatred. Life is always dangerous. Some people get afraid of it. Some people don't go forward. But some people, if they want to achieve their goal, they have to go. The courage is still there. It's telling me to move forward. Reporter: She tells me, she's decided death was just not ready for her yet. I think that death did not want to kill me. And god was with me. And the people prayed for me. Reporter: And the people who had prayed for her, the people who had wondered about her, got their answer on her 16th birthday. There at the united nations, gathered in the hall, dignitaries and children from around the world. Her father was there and so was her mother, who for the first time, let herself appear on camera. And walking up to the podium, it was the power of malala again. I am the same malala. I was thinking is this the same daughter, she is standing at the un, speaking to the whole world and holding the flag of hope and peace. I was very proud. Let us stick up our books and our friends. They are our most power feful weapon, education is the only solution, education first.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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