His actions may have been vital in helping police catch the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, even after the attacks both his legs were amputated from the knee down. Now some of that heroism is being returned.
Nearly 10,000 people have now donated to Bucks for Bauman, an effort to help pay the medical expenses of Jeff Bauman, the Boston Marathon bombing survivor known not only for a now iconic -- and extremely graphic -- photo, but also for helping the FBI identify at least one of the bombing suspects. Set up by his friends on the crowdfunding site GoFundMe, the fund has already raised more than $360,000 since last Tuesday to help pay for Bauman’s devastating injuries.
The support rallied around Bauman, which includes efforts from his coworkers at Costco, is a bright spot to an otherwise tragic tale. It also puts the medical costs faced by the 176 injured victims of the bombing, estimated to exceed around $9 million, in stark relief. Many victims will end up needing days or even weeks of intensive care, which may cost up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to NBC News. Likewise, prosthetics for 14 victims who received amputations may cost as much as $50,000 each.
Those with permanent injuries resulting in disability may also face the financial strain of losing employment, according to NBC News.
Still, help does appear to be on the way. One Fund Boston, set up by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino, has already raised more than $7 million, while donations keep pouring into other charities, as well as private funds for victims, according to CBC. Injured newlywed couple Patrick and Jessica Downes also raised more than $400,000 with the help of online donations, according to Yahoo News.
But it’s not just victims of tragedies who face staggering medical bills. Health care costs overall have risen at such a rate that it’s estimated the average cost of health insurance will exceed the median income of an American household by 2037.
(Hat tip: Think Progress)