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Local Organization Helps Victims of Traumatic Brain Injuries

By Emily Girsch.
1.7 million people are affected by brain injuries every year.

On Wednesday night in Endicott, a local organization hosted an awareness night to provide information and resources.

"I was quite ignorant about brain injury until my daughter suffered one," said Cindy Solomita, president and CEO of Compassionate Care of Central New York.

"I thought that when she woke up from a coma that she we would be back to her old self and we would laugh about it someday."

But that wasn't the case.

In the year 2000, 20-year-old Miranda Stasko was critically injured in a car accident during the summer of her sophomore year of college.

Along with many broken bones, Miranda suffered a diffuse axonal injury to her brain.

Her life would never be the same.

"It's not like the movies," said Solomita.

"You don't wake up from a coma and be your old self. You struggle with a brain injury for the rest of your life."

Three years after Miranda's accident, Cindy quit her job in telecommunications and founded Compassionate Care of Central New York, an organization that specializes in helping victims of traumatic brain injuries rebuild their lives, live independently, and form friendships.

That's where Miranda met Jonathan, a victim of a drunk driving car accident that left him similarly impaired.

"I think the world of her but she understands me," said Jonathan.

Jonathan has trouble with his memory due to his accident, while Miranda has struggles with her balance.

Jonathan says they help each other.

"We trigger off each other," he said.

"She'll help me remember what I ate for dinner and I help her with her balance."

A bond of friendship formed through trauma.