The Associated Press reported on Thursday that while both men – who were present at the Brussels Zaventem Airport when the explosion occurred – will make full recoveries, their doctors have said that it will take time for their bodies and minds to heal.
Wells and Empey both sustained second-degree burns and other significant injuries in the attack, but their parents have said that they are ready to resume their normal lives.
“They are young, healthy boys, thank goodness, and their bodies are healing fast,” Amber Empey, Joseph’s mother, reportedly said.
According to an update from a close family friend, Mason “is receiving top-notch medical care” for a broken heel on his left foot, which also has a ruptured Achilles, and will have skin grafts and other operations done on his foot and hand.
“Mason had a wonderful reunion with his 17-year-old brother, Colby, and looks forward to seeing his three other siblings soon,” Jeanette Waite Bennett wrote on Facebook. “His 19 months of LDS missionary service came to a halt with the blast in the Brussels airport on March 22.
“Although Mason cannot have visitors, he is grateful for the prayers he can tangibly feel from both loved ones and strangers.”
Local CBS affiliate KUTV reported that University of Utah spokeswoman said that both, Empey and Wells, who are at the school’s hospital, are in fair condition.
The men were injured as they dropped off their fellow missionary Sister Fanny Rachel Clain, 20, from France who was departing for an assignment in Ohio. Although she was not seriously injured, another missionary who accompanied them to the airport, Richard Norby, 66, suffered injuries.
According to KUTV, Norby is still in a Brussels hospital receiving aid for his serious injuries, but will be transported to the U.S. for additional care. The network adds the LDS plans to release him from missionary service “in the near future.”
Since Clain suffered minor injuries, she will reportedly continue her service in the United States, “when she is fit enough to do so.”
At least 35 others died in the attacks, and over 340 people were injured.