LONDON Oct. 19, 2012— -- The Pakistani girl shot in the head by the Taliban for wanting an education stood up today in a remarkable comeback from her near fatal wound.
Malala Yousufzai also posed for photos in her hospital bed showing her awake and snuggling with a white teddy bear.
"She is doing very well. In fact, she is standing with some help for the first time this morning when I went into see her," said Dr. David Rosser, the medical director of Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England.
"She is communicating very freely, she is writing," he said.
Malala can't speak because she has a tracheotomy tube that was necessary because her airway was swollen by the bullet wound, Rosser said. But the girl the Taliban tried to silence may be able to speak again in a few days.
"We have no reason to believe she'll not be able to talk once the tube is out which maybe in the next few days,'' the doctor said.
The 15-year-old girl is alert, he said, and wanted the photos and information about her condition to be made public.
"She's agreed to, in fact happy and keen for us to share quite a lot of clinical detail," Rosser said.
Malala was shot when the Taliban stopped her bus in Pakistan on Oct. 9 and singled her out for a shot to the head for her outspoken demand that girls be allowed an education. Rosser said the bullet entered above her left eye, went down the side of her jaw damaging the skull on the left side, went through her neck and lodged in her scapula above the left shoulder blade.
The slug was removed by Pakistani doctors, but Malala was flown to Britain for additional care and extra safety after the Taliban vowed to try again to kill her.
Despite the remarkable strides Malala has made, Rosser was cautious.
"Malala is still showing signs of infection which is related to the bullet track which is our key source of concern... It's clear she's not out of the woods," he said.
She is also facing some daunting surgery.
"Her skull will need reconstructing, reinserting the piece of bone that was removed initially or with a titanium plate. Her jaw joint may need further work down the line, but that remains to be assessed,'' he said.
The teenager had angered the Taliban with her insistence that girls be educated. She began when she was 11 writing a blog for BBC under a fake name about life under the Taliban in her home region of the Swat Valley.
She spoke publicly after the Pakistan army took back the area in 2009 and was given one of the country's highest civilian awards for bravery.