ST. GEORGE – Two of the missionaries injured during last week’s bombings in Brussels, Belgium, have returned to the United States, according to a statement from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Tuesday.
Mason Wells, 19, of Sandy, and Joseph Empey, 20, of Santa Clara, are back in Utah and are receiving medical care in a Utah hospital, church officials said. The two will also be released from missionary service.
The missionaries, along with LDS missionaries Richard Nordy, 66, of Lehi, and Fanny Rachel Clain, of Montelimar, France, were caught up the March 22 bombings while at the airport in Brussels and were each injured.
Through Church spokeswoman Kristen Howey, the families of the missionaries expressed their profound gratitude for the concern and prayers offered by many during the past week.
Norby and Clain will continue to receive medical care in Brussels for the time being, though is it anticipated that Norby will also return home to Utah and be released from his missionary service in the near future.
Norby was placed in a medically-induced coma last week following surgery for his injuries. He was brought out of the coma Saturday evening, according to various media reports.
Clain is expected to be able to resume missionary service for the church in the United States. She was not as seriously injured as the others, officials said.
Brent H. Nielson, executive director of the LDS Church’s Missionary Department, expressed “love and gratitude” to each missionary and their families.
“These missionaries and their loved ones have all been through a traumatic experience,” Nielson said. “They have each borne it with faith and fortitude. We are proud of all of them.”
The March 22 bombings in Brussels, Belgium, occurred at the city’s airport and a subway station. The bombings left 34 deaths and injured 270 others. The Islamic State militant group claimed credit for the incident soon after.
The First Presidency of the LDS Church issued a statement the morning of the attacks as it was learned missionaries had been involved:
With much of the world, we awoke this morning to the heartbreaking news of the bombings in Belgium. Our prayers are with the families of the deceased and injured, including three of our missionaries who were injured and hospitalized. We also pray for the people of Belgium and France as they continue to deal with the uncertainty and devastation caused by the recent terrorist attacks.
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