LEHI, Utah — Belgian doctors have placed a senior LDS missionary in a medically induced coma as he recovers from serious injuries sustained in Tuesday's terrorist attack on the Brussels airport.
Elder Richard J. Norby, 66, of Lehi, Utah, suffered multiple shrapnel wounds and second-degree burns to his head and neck area and more severe shrapnel trauma to his lower leg, according to a statement released Wednesday morning by his family.
Doctors performed a lengthy surgery, the family said, then placed him in a medically induced coma. He will remain in that state for the next few days, with a lengthy recovery expected.
Elder Norby was one of three Mormon missionaries from the France Paris Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who were near one of two bombs detonated by terrorists at the airport just before 8 a.m. Tuesday. The other two suffered burns to their heads and hands and shrapnel wounds to their legs, but after surgery are awake recovering.
Elder Norby, is a retired LDS seminary teacher who served as an LDS mission president in the Ivory Coast from 2003-05. His wife, Pamela Norby, is a former member of the church's Relief Society General Board. She is serving with him in the Paris Mission but was not at the airport at the time of the attack. She is with him at the hospital.
"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," the family statement said. "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."