American teen in Brussels survives third brush with terrorism
(ABC News) — An American injured in the Brussels terror attacks has already been impacted previous terror attacks in Boston and Paris, his family said.
Mason Wells, 19, was injured in the bombing at the Brussels airport along with two other American Mormon missionaries who had gone to help check in other missionaries who were traveling to the U.S.
Wells suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon, shrapnel injures, as well as second- and third-degree burns on his face and hands after the bombing, his father Chad Wells told ABC News.
The teen missionary had previously been impacted by other terror attacks in Paris and Boston.
“This is his third terrorist attack,” Chad Wells said, noting he was with his son just a block from the Boston Marathon bombing.
“This is the third time that sadly in our society that we have a connection to a bomb blast,” Wells told ABC News. “We live in a dangerous world and not everyone is kind and loving.”
Wells said that during the Boston Marathon bombing, he was with his son a block away from the finish line, where the bombing took place, waiting for Mason Wells’ mother, who ran the marathon.
“It had shaken their bodies and he had taken Mason to our hotel and said to stay there,” Kymberly Wells told ABC News of her son and husband being near the Boston bombing. “Mason was very calm and composed.”
The family said Wells was in France during the Paris attacks last year that lead to a wide mobilization to find the terrorists and disrupt future attacks.
“Mason has always assured us that he is safe and careful,” Kymberly Wells said. “I told him first and foremost always be aware of your surroundings, please be very careful when you’re traveling be very observant to people around you.”
Chad Wells said they were able to speak to their son, who was in the hospital, and they’re optimistic he will make a full recovery. They said the teenager was basically at “ground zero” of the blast.
“He shared with us that he was extremely close to the blast where he was burned by it,” Chad Wells said. “It’s a blessing from God he’s alive.”
Chad Wells said his son is a “strong kid” who was able to remain calm throughout the ordeal today.
“I think the Boston experience helped him to stay calm,” Chad Well said.
He explained a Mormon official relayed to the Wells family that Mason, “despite being on the ground and bleeding was actually had a sense of humor and remained calm through the situation. That’s our Mason.”
The family said that their main concern is that Mason will be able to pursue his dream of joining the U.S. Naval Academy despite his injuries and that he has always wanted to serve his country in the military.
“The way we get back on our feet after something like this happens is a true test of character,” Chad Wells said. “He was blessed significantly by God. We see a blessing by this, not a terrible curse.”
ABC News’ Sally Hawkins and Clayton Sandell contributed to this report.