Reporting Derek Valcourt
TIMONIUM, Md. (WJZ) — Help is on the way for victims of the Boston Marathon bombings who had to undergo leg amputations after the explosion. A new coalition has formed to make sure those amputees don’t have to pay out of their own pockets for their new artificial limbs.
Derek Valcourt explains how a local company is part of that effort to help.
Prosthetic limbs can be expensive and if a Boston bombing amputee’s insurance company won’t pay, a local prosthetics company says the costs will be covered.
The Boston Marathon bomb blasts left as many as 15 people with leg amputations–among them, preschool teacher Erika Brannock, who was at the race to cheer on her mom, and 38-year-old Heather Abbott, amputated below the knee on her left leg.
“Although the prosthetic is something I’ll have to get used to, I think I’ll have a better chance of living my life the way I used to with that,” Abbott said.
“So this would be a fairly typical prosthesis for a below the knee amputee who’s a runner,” said Mark Hopkins, Dankmeyer, Inc.
Hopkins is the clinical director of Dankmeyer, Inc., a prosthetic company with offices located throughout Maryland. They’re joining with other prosthetics groups to make a pledge to Boston victims.
“If the folks who are coming back from Boston require care, require any type of prosthesis, we are going to make sure that they are going to get that,” Hopkins said.
And many of them might need help because many insurance companies set limits on what they will pay toward a prosthesis, which can cost anywhere from $8,000 to $80,000, forcing amputees to pay out-of-pocket.
“That’s why we feel it’s important, even though it’s early in the lives of these folks post-amputation to be thinking about prostheses, we want to reassure them that the services will be there for them and they can set that aside and focus on the other aspects of their recovery,” Hopkins said.
Dankmeyer says they’ll offer their prosthetic services for free to Brannock if her insurance won’t cover the cost. She’s still recovering in the Boston area after another surgery on Monday.
Brannock’s friends and family have started a fund to help cover her extensive medical costs. To donate, click here.