After Malala Yousafzai was shot point-blank in the head by Taliban gunmen for speaking out against and openly defying their ban on girls' education in her hometown of Swat Valley, people around the world hoped and prayed for her recovery. Malala's condition was fragile; the bullet pierced her head, went through her neck and ended up in her shoulder, near her spinal cord. She was rushed to a local Pakistani hospital to undergo surgery, and was later transported to England for further treatment. Miraculously, the then-15-year-old survived the assassination attempt with very little permanent damage.
Though it all, the global outcry and support for this brave teen was overwhelming. While people lit candles, held vigils and sent heartfelt cards to Malala's hospital room, she says she was completely unaware of such kind efforts. In an interview with Oprah for "SuperSoul Sunday," Malala, now 18, opens up about her time in the hospital and what this support meant to her throughout her rehabilitation.
"When I was in the hospital, I had no idea that people outside had so much support for me," Malala admits. "I had no idea."
When Malala began to realize the magnitude of this outpouring, it was a bit of a shock.
"As the doctors in the hospitals started to bring cards to the hospital, to my room, every day, it just totally surprised me," she says.
Malala believes that the thoughts and prayers of so many people had a very real and significant impact on her recovery.
"Before, I believed in prayers, but then it strengthened my belief in prayers," she says. "The prayers of people are so powerful that it can give you life and... God listens to them. He just listens to their voices."
Malala shares more about her experiences and what she has learned in the aftermath of her near-fatal attack on this weekend's "Super Soul Sunday," airing Oct. 11, at 7 p.m. ET on OWN.
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