In response to the high volume of media requests, the Church is providing statements from the families of three of the missionaries affected by the explosions Tuesday in Belgium.
Wells Family Statement:
We are grateful that our son, Elder Mason Wells, survived the attack and is receiving quality medical care. We have spoken to him briefly and he feels blessed that he wasn’t injured more, given his close proximity to the bomb. He has undergone surgery to repair his Achilles tendon, and he’s also been treated for burns and shrapnel injuries. As a family, we feel the power of prayer from those we know and those who only heard Mason’s name for the first time today. We will continue to pray and hope for everyone affected by this tragedy.
—Chad and Kymberly Wells
Empey Family Statement:
This has been a difficult day for our family, and our hearts are broken for those injured or killed by the attacks in Belgium. We are grateful our son, Elder Joseph Dresden Empey, is alive and doing well. He has been treated for second-degree burns to his hands, face, and head, and surgery was just completed for shrapnel injuries to his legs. We have been in touch with him and he is grateful and in good spirits. We have also been in contact with his mission president. We are thankful for the outpouring of love and prayers from throughout the world, and we pray for all those affected by this tragedy.
—Court and Amber Empey
Norby Family Statement:
Richard Norby, a missionary serving in the Paris, France mission was injured in the bombing of the Brussels Airport on Wednesday 22 March 2016. He sustained several wounds from the shrapnel, second-degree burns to his head and neck area, along with more severe trauma from shrapnel to his lower leg. After a lengthy surgery, he was placed in a medically-induced coma, and will remain in this state for the next few days, with a lengthy recovery expected. His wife, Pamela Norby, was not at the airport at the time of the attack and is supporting him during this challenging time.
As his family, we wish to express our deep appreciation to his caring and competent medical staff and to all those who have expressed well-wishes and prayers on his behalf. We wish to express our love to the Paris, France mission president, President Babin, his wife, and the fine missionaries. Our prayers go out to all those who were affected by this terrible tragedy and wish for the speedy recovery of all the wounded bystanders.
—The Norby Family
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.