Wife of LDS missionary wounded in Brussels recounts husband’s phone call after explosion

Posted at 9:11 PM, Mar 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-26 23:11:22-04

LEHI, Utah -- The wife and son of Elder Richard Norby, a 66-year-old LDS missionary from Lehi injured in the terror attacks in Brussels, gave an interview Saturday and spoke about the moments they learned their loved one was hurt.

Norby is serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was at the airport when the attack occurred. Shortly after the explosion that left 31 people dead, Pamela Norby, Richard’s wife, received a phone call.

'He said, ‘Pam’, and as soon as he said my name, I knew that something was wrong,” Pamela Norby said.

She said she could hear a commotion in the background.

“He said, ‘There’s been an explosion,’ I said, ‘Are you OK?’  and he said, 'I have a broken leg and I have burns on my face,'" she said.

Pamela then asked her husband about the whereabouts of the other missionaries he was with.

“He said, ‘I don’t know’ and my heart just sank, because we’re so close to these missionaries, we love them,” she said.

Elder Joseph Empey, 20 of Santa Clara, and Elder Mason Wells, 19 of Sandy, were the other two Utah missionaries injured in the attack. A sister missionary from France, 20-year-old Fanny Clain, was also hurt.

Pamela said her husband is still in a medically induced coma.

His son Jason said it took a while for the news to settle in.

“About a day and a half before I really stopped to think that, someone instigated this, someone did this, and I processed that for a moment and I moved on, I moved back to focusing on my father and the other missionaries,” he said.

Jason and Pamela say beyond their own family and their extended family of missionaries, they are focusing on the people who lost loved ones and are praying their own loved one will soon return to health.

Pamela Norby described the burns on her husband’s body as being primarily second-degree burns, which she said is good news because it means most of the wounds will not require skin grafts