Wounded U.S. missionary returns home from Iraq
By Thom Patterson
(CNN) -- American missionary Carrie McDonnall was recovering Tuesday at a hospital in Dallas, Texas, from wounds suffered during an attack last week in northern Iraq that left her husband and three other colleagues dead.
McDonnall, 26, a Southern Baptist, was working with a group to help to rebuild Iraq. She and four other U.S. missionaries -- her husband, David McDonnall, 29; Larry Elliott, 60; Jean Elliott, 58; and Karen Watson, 38 --were scouting sites for a water purification project March 15 in Mosul when they were gunned down by unidentified attackers firing AK-47 rifles on their civilian vehicle, witnesses said.
McDonnall suffered gunshot wounds in the chest, face and all four limbs, according to Greg Tomlin of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, where she attends school. Doctors are pleased with her condition and optimistic about her recovery, Tomlin said.
In the attack, the Elliotts and Watson were killed immediately. David McDonnall died of his wounds the following day. When the McDonnalls began their relief work in Iraq in June, they had been married for less than a year.
Carrie McDonnall arrived Saturday in Dallas after a 12-hour flight from a U.S. Army hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, where she had been transported from Iraq, Tomlin said.
Until her arrival, doctors said McDonnall was heavily sedated. Lately, doctors said she has been awake and is responding to family members, according to Tomlin.
Small-arms fire during the attack shattered bones in McDonnall's right arm and leg, wounds which are healing, Tomlin said. He also said she lost most of three fingers on her left hand, according to doctors, adding that McDonnall is right-handed.
Meanwhile, funeral services for David McDonnall are scheduled for Wednesday in his hometown of Lamar, Colorado, according to a pastor at Lamar's First Baptist Church.
"The amount of grief that's been produced from this tragedy is unusual," said the Rev. Dennis Bradley. "David's life really impacted a lot of people and certainly his death did also."
Watson's funeral in her hometown of Bakersfield, California, is also set for Wednesday, according to Van Payne, spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board, and the Elliotts will be laid to rest Thursday in Cary, North Carolina.