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Gens said hospitals are still focused on treating survivors, not on costs.
"It’s an extraordinary shock to so many individuals. The hospitals are working very hard to make sure that each family gets the support they need. Billing is not an issue they’re addressing right now," Gens said.
At Massachusetts General Hospital, where 31 victims have gotten treatment, chief financial officer Sally Mason Boemer said bills "create a lot of stress. Our assumption is there will be sources we can tap through fundraising." Boemer added: "Now is not the time to add additional stress to patients."
Bombings survivor Heather Abbott said Thursday she has already gotten offers of help to pay for an artificial leg. The 38-year-old Newport, R.I., woman was waiting in line to get into a crowded bar when the bombs went off.
"I felt like my foot was on fire. I knew I couldn’t stand up," she recalled from her hospital bed. Surgeons amputated her left leg below the knee.
A big chunk of charity money for survivors will come from One Fund Boston, established by Boston’s mayor and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.
The fund has gotten more than $20 million in donations. Determining who gets what is still being worked out, but victims’ insurance status and place of residence won’t be a factor, said Kenneth Feinberg, the fund administrator. He oversaw the 9/11 compensation fund during its first three years, distributing more than $7 billion to 5,300 families and victims.
Grass-roots fundraising efforts include online funds set up by friends and relatives of the victims.
Those victims include Roseann Sdoia, a Boston woman who was near the marathon finish line when the blasts occurred. Sdoia was hit by shrapnel, fire and a tree that became a projectile and injured her left leg, the funding site says. Her right leg had to be amputated above the knee. After several operations, Sdoia has started rehab.
"She is a fighter and her attitude is phenomenal," said her friend and former sorority sister, Christine Hart, who set up the site. More than $270,000 has been raised for Sdoia so far, money that may help pay for an artificial leg, transportation to and from rehab, and modifications to her car or home, Hart said.
The donations will help make sure "that finances are not part of the burden" she has to bear, Hart said.
Other funds have been set up in communities like Stoneham, a Boston suburb that counts at least five current or former residents among the victims. A Stoneham Strong fundraising event is set for Friday evening, with participants asked to circle the high school track to show support for the marathon victims. Hundreds are expected, said organizer Shelly MacNeill.
"The outpouring has been unbelievable," she said.
AP Medical Writer Carla K. Johnson contributed to this report.
AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/LindseyTanner
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