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Man Who Survived 3 Terrorist Attacks Shares What Kept His Spirit Strong

CBS News

Earlier this summer, we shared the surprising story of Julia Monaco with you. The Australian tourist found herself nearby during three terrorist attacks in less than three months while touring Europe.

Monaco survived the attacks in Barcelona, Paris and London.Yahoo AU

While Monaco was unscathed but obviously shaken by her experiences, it seems there was someone with even worse luck than her. Between 2013 and 2016, Mason Wells was either near or directly involved in three terrorist attacks. The most recent one, last year's airport bombing in Brussels, almost took the young man's life.

Wells' mother finished the Boston Marathon just before the bomb exploded.Mason Wells / Facebook

Wells' first brush with danger came at age 16, when he traveled from Utah to Boston with his family to watch his mother compete in the Boston Marathon. Of course, this was the 2013 race which was targeted by terrorists. Luckily, Wells' mother finished the race before the bomb exploded near the finish line.

But Wells, a devout Mormon, says the experience made him ask big questions about God, and why he would allow such bad things to happen.

Emergency workers treat victims of the Bataclan theater shooting.

Those questions were on his mind again when he traveled to France as a missionary. Wells was in the country during the 2015 terror attack that killed more than 130 people in Paris. While he was far away from the action during this second attack, Wells wasn't so lucky the next time.

Wells' final stroke of bad luck came when he was flying out of Brussels, Belgium last year.

Terrorists detonated a pair of bombs inside the Brussels airport.

Wells was leaving another missionary trip, and had been in the airport checkout line for just 30 seconds when a bomb went off. The 20-year-old says his world "completely exploded," and he briefly lost consciousness.

Wells suffered serious burns and injuries from the explosion.CNN

But Wells' ordeal wasn't finished. It took three hours for him to be moved from the airport to a nearby hospital, and he spent at least 45 minutes of that time lying alone on the concrete outside the terminal. Doctors still can't explain how he ran out of the building with a severed Achilles tendon.

After more than a year, dozens of surgeries, and lots of time to reflect on his good and bad luck, Wells says he doesn't ask why God put him in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Wells' recovery was a slow, painful process.KUTV

“I was kind of faced with two paths in front of me," he told Megyn Kelly on Today, "there was this path of bitterness I felt like I could embrace, this path of anger, or frustration. And I also saw another option." Wells calls the path he chose “the option of hope.”

And something else kept Wells optimistic while he recovered from burns and injuries: his childhood dream. Being rejected from the Naval Academy was what pushed Wells to become a Missionary, but now he's been accepted to the school and is following his lifelong dream.

“I made the decision to be a survivor," he says, "not a victim.”

Share this inspirational story if you believe life has a plan for all of us!

[H/T: Today]

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