Two victims of the Boston marathon bombing, J.P. and Paul Norden, were each awarded $1.2 million dollars from the One Fund, but they are wary to spend it. This information comes from a new profile in The Washington Post, where the recovery efforts of the brothers—each of whom suffered amputations of one of their legs—and what they do or don't do with their charitable contribution are brought to light.
Technically becoming a millionaire overnight has brought its own of complications for their recovery. For instance:
The payments are tax-free, but they will force the Norden brothers off the state health insurance program for the poor. At the end of the year, they must begin buying their own medical insurance.
Coverage for prosthetics varies from policy to policy, but doctors and prosthetists agree that the lifetime cost of a new limb — especially for Paul Norden — easily could be more than the Norden brothers were awarded. The devices, which wear out, must be replaced every few years and regularly maintained.
While others who received checks have bought housing or cars, or set aside money for their family, the number of unknowns for victims like the Nordens makes it difficult to commit funds to anything. In addition to their numerous leg surgeries (the article notes that they have lost count), the Nordens also suffered injuries to their eardrums.
Back in July, The New York Times wrote about the recovery effort of Jeff Bauman, who lost both of his legs in the attack. Bauman received $2.2 million from the One Fund and another $800,000 from an online fundraiser. He has since retained financial advisers and put his money into a trust fund.
The One Fund also saw a brief scandal after two men allegedly attempted to defraud the organization. They pleaded not guilty to charges last Wednesday.
Organizers of next year's marathon are also trying to determine how to admit competitors, predicting a large influx of runners showing their support.