BIRMINGHAM (Reuters/AFP) – Malala Yousafzai’s father said on Friday his daughter was strong and would ‘rise again’ to pursue her dreams after receiving treatment at a British hospital.

Ziauddin Yousufzai, Malala’s father and other family members flew to Britain on Thursday to help their daughter’s recovery.

“They wanted to kill her. But she fell temporarily. She will rise again. She will stand again,” he said, his voice wavering and breaking with emotion as he spoke.

“It’s a miracle for us ... She was in a very bad condition,” he told reporters, sitting alongside his son.

“She is improving with encouraging speed.”

British doctors say she has every chance of making a good recovery at the special hospital unit, expert in dealing with complex trauma cases. It has treated hundreds of soldiers wounded in Afghanistan.

Her father said he and his family cried when they were finally reunited with Malala on Thursday. “We are very happy,” he said. “I pray for her.”

Zia said at the British hospital where she is recovering the response of Pakistan to the shooting of Malala by the Taliban was a ‘turning point’ for the country.

“When she fell, Pakistan stood and the world rose. This is a turning point,” a clearly emotional Ziauddin told journalists.

He said Malala was recovering “at an encouraging speed” in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

“She is not just my daughter, she is everybody’s daughter,” her father said.

He thanked the doctors at the hospital in the city in central England, saying: “She got the right treatment, at the right place, at the right time.

“She is recovering at an encouraging speed and we are very happy.”

At one point, Ziauddin had to stop and compose himself as he recalled how in the aftermath of the shooting he asked his brother-in-law to make arrangements for a funeral because he did not believe Malala would survive.

When asked how he felt when he and his family saw Malala for the first time since they arrived in Britain on Thursday, he said: “I love her and last night when we met her there were tears in our eyes out of happiness.

“We all cried a little bit.”

Malala’s mother and two brothers have also come to Birmingham, where the girl is being treated in the highly specialised hospital where service personnel who are seriously injured in Afghanistan are taken.

He said her mother was too camera-shy to attend the media briefing, but pictures released by the hospital showed the family gathered around Malala’s bed. Malala was wearing a pale green head covering.

Malala has received thousands of goodwill messages from around the world.

Doctors have said a bullet grazed her brain and came within centimetres of killing her, travelling through her head and neck before lodging in her left shoulder.

She requires reconstructive surgery, but she must first fight off an infection in the path of the bullet and recover her strength, which could take months.

Her skull will need reconstructing either by reinserting bone or using a titanium plate.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman said Friday that the family of the peace icon visited her in hospital after arriving in Britain.

Malala’s mother, father and two brothers arrived in Birmingham on Thursday and went straight to see her at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

“Her mum, dad and her two brothers are here in the UK,” a spokeswoman for the hospital told AFP.

“They visited last night.”

After flying into Britain’s second city, they were given a police escort through Birmingham to the hospital.

The hospital said Malala was still comfortable and continued to respond well to treatment.

‘Miracle Malala’ will rise again