About Karen Northshield

Karen’s story is heartbreaking yet inspirational at the same time. 


The year 2016 was a turning point not only in Belgian history but also for Karen Northshield, a Belgian-american, whose career and life turned around in a split second.

On the morning of 22 March, 3 explosions went off at the Brussels’ International Airport and the metro station Maelbeek. Karen happened to be standing right next to the first terrorist in the first explosion.


She was transported in extremis to Brussels’ biggest hospital, where the doctors gave her zero chance of survival. She was a civilian injured to death with multiple war injuries. She was hospitalized for 3 and a half years, at death’s door, fighting countless life-threatening infections. To this day she has underwent more than 60 operations.


Today she has defied statistics, recovering beyond imagination and inspiring others in their paths of reconstruction, rehabilitation and redefining herself.


She  graduated from one of Brussels’ top-notch universities, Université Libre de Bruxelles, majoring in International Relations and minoring in languages.


Karen enjoys hugs, flowers and kind messages.




Ambassador for hope, determination and resilience.