Mason Wells, a Utah Mormon missionary, has experienced some close calls in recent history, and added one more to his list on Tuesday when he escaped the Brussels terrorist attacks with his life, despite being seriously burned.
The 19-year-old has survived two additional terror attacks and credits the support of his friends and family for his multiple survivals.
Wells spoke from his hospital bed following the Tuesday bombing, mere days after he was severely burned. The teen communicated with a bandage-covered face, sharing how fortunate he is to have escaped with his life once more. New York Daily News shares Wells’ words.
“I don’t know why I was in certain areas when certain things happen, but what I do know is that I’ve had people around me who have always taken care of me, I’m very lucky to have known the people that I know.”
The additional terror incidents at which Mason was present include the Boston Marathon bombing that occurred in 2013. Wells was at the finish line when the bomb went off. The teen recently also found himself in the middle of the Paris massacre that occurred on November 12, 2015, while he was serving a mission. On Tuesday, Wells was set to fly back to the U.S. from Brussels when the terrorist bombers struck.
As the publication shares, Wells was in the Delta Airlines check-in line at the Belgian capital airport when a suicide bomber detonated the explosive belt. The bomber was reportedly 30 to 50 feet from the teen. Mason shared the horror of the scene.
“I remember seeing fire in front of my face and fire by my feet on the ground,” he said. “I was covered in a fair amount of blood — not necessarily mine.”
The teen gave a detailed account as to what he remembers in the moment of the blast, as the Daily Mail relays.
“I was looking down and all of a sudden the huge blast came from my right. I believe my body was actually picked off the ground for a moment and my iPad was in my hands. I don’t know what happened – it just disappeared. I think it actually might have hit me in the head when it got blasted out of my hands. My watch on my left hand just disappeared, my left shoe was just blown off and a large part of the right side of my body got really hot and then really cold and I was covered in a lot of fluids, a lot of blood. And a lot of that blood wasn’t mine either.”
Although the courageous teen is expected to make a full recovery, he suffered severe injuries including a severed Achilles tendon, a head wound, shrapnel injuries and severe burns, as stated.
Wells was also in the company of two other Utah missionaries when the blasts hit, including 66-year-old Richard Norby, who was put into a medically-induced coma after having surgery for shrapnel embedded in his legs. Joseph Empey, 20, was treated for burns to his hands and face.
— KSL Newsradio (@kslnewsradio) March 22, 2016
Wells commented on the proximity the three missionaries were to the blasts, and on how fortunate he feels to have come away alive.
“We were really close. I feel lucky to have escaped with what I did.”
NY Daily News recalls in more detail Mason’s reasons for being at the other 2 noted sites where terrorist attacks happened.
“Wells — who has been serving a two-year Mormon mission in Paris — was in France, but about two hours away from the massacre cites, when ISIS terrorists slaughtered 130 people at a music hall, a soccer stadium and a row of cafes. In 2013, he was close to the Boston Marathon finish line, waiting for his mom to finish running the race, when terrorists detonated bombs. He was close enough to feel that blast, but was unharmed, his dad said.”
Mason Wells shared what he has in store for his future, but states that his focus now is on getting well.
“I just what to contribute to the community I’m in. For the moment I’m just focusing on getting everything better.”
Reunited with parents is the update on Elder Mason Wells. pic.twitter.com/Hg8Z4cJOq8
— LDS Missionary Art (@artMISSIONARY) March 26, 2016
As the Daily Mail shares, Wells’ parents were at his bedside following the attack and noted that this was the first time they had seen their son in the two years he had been serving his mission in Europe.
[Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images]