University of Tampa student, Belgium native 'shocked, mad, sad'

By Dalia Dangerfield, Reporter
Last Updated: Tuesday, March 22, 2016, 7:36 PM EDT

University of Tampa student Helen Helvoet was glued to her cell phone all day Tuesday as she watched the horror unfold in her native Belgium.

"I was just shocked and sad and mad at the same time," Helvoet said.

At least 30 people were killed and more than 200 others were injured after terrorists attacked the metro and international airport in Brussels. Helvoet said she frequently flies into that airport when she visits her parents. In fact, her parents just landed at Brussel's international airport last week.

Fortunately, Helvoet said her family and friends were nowhere near the attacks.

"But they were shocked," Helvoet said. "Especially my mom. She keeps on calling me and saying that she's OK and asking me if I'm fine."

After seeing the turmoil, Helvoet has had a hard time concentrating on class. She received several text messages from those who wanted to make sure she was OK.

Helvoet said she feels helpless, because she's so far away from her loved ones.

"That's why I'm mostly mad, because I can't do anything," Helvoet said. "I can't be there for my family."

Helvoet said she wishes she were back home in Belgium to hug her parents and be there for her country when they need it most.