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Missionary Now in Medically Induced Coma After Terrorist Attack in Belgium

Belgium doctors placed Elder Richard Norby, 66, in a medically induced coma following a lengthy surgery for injuries he received during the Belgium terrorist attacks Tuesday.

A former mission president in the Ivory Coast, Elder Norby is currently a senior missionary serving with his wife, Pamela, in the France Paris Mission. Sister Norby was not with her husband when the terrorist attack occurred, but she has been faithfully by his side in the Belgium hospital since the explosion.

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Elder Norby, along with Elder Joseph Empey and Elder Mason Wells, accompanied a sister missionary, Fanny Rachel Clain, to the airport as she prepared to leave to serve her mission in Ohio. After Sister Clain had already passed through airport security, two bombs exploded in the departures section of the airport, killing at least 14 and wounding many others, including all four missionaries.

Elder Norby was knocked to the ground by the blast of the detonation, sustaining many shrapnel wounds and second-degree burns to his head and neck area.

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Elder Norby will remain in a medically induced coma for several days to allow his body to begin its lengthy recovery.

A statement from the Norby family says:

"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."

Sister Cain received only minor injuries in the explosion while Elders Wells and Empey both had to undergo surgery for their injuries. But, both are doing well and recovering, according to their families.

Lead image from Mormon Newsroom.