(CNN) - A compromise bill to provide free medical treatment and compensation to first responders of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack won final approval Wednesday from the House and Senate, sending it to President Barack Obama to be signed into law. The bill passed on a voice vote in the Senate, and then on a 206-60 vote in the House on the final day of the lame-duck session of Congress. Jubilant Democrats hailed the last-minute approval as a $4.2 billion triumph for firefighters, police officers and other emergency personnel who put themselves in harm's way to help others in the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attack.
Today on American Morning, 9/11 first responder John Feal, FealGood Foundation, who lost half a foot during the rescue effort from Sept. 11, 2001, and still suffers from respiratory and post-traumatic stress issues, talks to AM's John Roberts and Carol Costello.
Watch the interview to see why he says the bill is better than any Christmas present.
By Allan Chernoff, CNN Sr. Correspondent
Laura Edmonds has a look of horror on her face as she turns to look out the airplane window. "I'm not crazy about that shake," she exclaims before putting her hand on her heart and closing her eyes. "I'm going to think about my good place," which for Edmonds is her memory of bonding with her son right after his birth.
Edmonds, a 44-year-old realtor from Connecticut, has an intense fear of flying. It's not the threat of terrorism that worries her, but rather the possibility of mechanical failure. She says she imagines the plane plunging to the ground because the engines may fall off. So every few minutes she glances out the window to make sure they're still attached.
It is a fear that has gripped her for 18 years, since her wedding day when she says she obsessed about the flight she would take the following day for her honeymoon to Italy.
"I couldn't enjoy my wedding day. I had this wonderful wedding surrounded by love and family but the only thing I could think about was the next day," says Edmonds.