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LDS Missionaries Injured In Brussels Face Tough Recovery

University of Utah Hospital
Mason Wells and Joseph Empey reunite for the first time since the bombing at University of Utah Hospital

The parents of two of the LDS missionaries injured in the Brussels Airport bombing say their sons are healing well, but they’re still expecting a long journey to full recovery.

Joseph Empey and Mason Wells were serving as missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when they were seriously injured in a bomb blast at the Brussels Airport last week. On Tuesday, they arrived back home in Utah to continue receiving medical treatment. Doctor Stephen Morris is the medical director of the University of Utah Burn Center. He says while the two young men arrived in good condition from Belgium, full recovery could take some time.

“This is something that does not actually just happen over a period of days and weeks or even months," Morris says. "With burn injuries and traumatic injuries, it can often take months and even a year or two.”

Amber Empey, is Joseph’s mother. She says she’s extremely happy to have her son back home, but is still very mindful of those who weren’t as lucky as he was.

“But along with that comes a lot of sadness and a lot of thoughts and love that goes out to anyone and everyone who has suffered this and throughout the world," she says. "We’re just, we’re really really lucky and we realize that we are lucky and are so thankful.”

Mason and Joseph both sustained burns to their hands and faces, as well as injuries to their feet and legs from shrapnel. But Mason’s father, Chad Wells, says even after this terrible experience, the message he wants other parents to know is one of hope.

“There’s so much good in this world that outweighs the bad," he says. "I’m just as comfortable to send my next two boys out on a LDS mission as I did my first one, because I trust God.”

Sixty-Six year-old Richard Norby is the third LDS Missionary from Utah injured in the attack. He is still recovering from his injuries in Brussels.

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