Jeff Bauman has been hailed as a hero for helping the FBI identify the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, and now friends of the man who lost his legs in the attack are trying to give him something back.
Bauman was near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday waiting for his girlfriend to finish when the blasts went. The explosion tore off his legs beneath the knee, and an extremely graphic photo caught paramedics and Carlos Arredondo carrying him away from the scene became the lasting image of the tragedy.
But Jeff Bauman was not deterred. As soon as he came came to, the 27-year-old gave the FBI a description of the that helped determine the identity of the two suspects, helping investigators determine their identity from thousands of people seen in the photos.
Jeff told police that the suspect wearing a baseball hat and sunglasses looked directly at him before dropping a bag at his feet, said Jeff’s brother, Chris Bauman. The bag contained the bomb that would kill three and injure close to 180 people.
“He woke up under so much drugs, asked for a paper and pen and wrote, ‘bag, saw the guy, looked right at me,’ ” Chris Bauman said yesterday in an interview.
Jeff Bauman is now facing a long recovery after losing both legs, and to complicate matters he is without health insurance. To help in the recovery, some of Bauman’s friends began asking the internet for donations to cover his high costs.
They created a page on the crowdfunding site gofundme.com, and just a few days have reached close to $160,000, more than halfway to the goal of $300,000.
Others have already pitched in to wish him well on his recovery. On Thursday, Jeff Bauman got a visit from actor Bradley Cooper and New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman at his Boston Medical Center hospital room.
Bauman is one of many survivors facing high medical costs in addition to a lengthy physical recovery. Experts say the cost of treating survivors’ injuries could reach $10 million or more.
The recovery fund for Jeff Bauman can be found here.