Brain injury advocates call on lawmakers to fund continuum of care plan

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ALBANY, NY (WENY) — In 2020, Kara Moran tested positive for COVID-19. She was later diagnosed with encephalitis–an inflammatory brain injury that can be caused by viral infections–making this Moran’s third brain injury in her lifetime.

She said her symptoms from the encephalitis made it hard for her to find long-term care resources. She said she would sometimes cry from frustration not being able to remember from five seconds to the next.

“I was lost, I was just so out of the world. I wasn’t used to doing it and especially with a brain injury, you can’t do it,” Moran said.

Moran, along with other advocates are calling on lawmakers to fund continuum of care for brain injury survivors. She said survivors need this funding to expand information and resources.

Some lawmakers are hopeful this funding will pass through the state budget. They are also taking steps to address the management of brain injuries.

Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal (D-47th Senate District) sponsors a bill recently introduced in the Senate to update concussion management and response protocols in schools. The bill also intends to increase concussion data collection and reporting.

“In some cases, this legislation is a matter of life or death or potentially long-term disability for some very young folks who are extremely vulnerable, whose brains are just developing. We need to do everything as government, as parents, as school officials to make sure they are safeguarded,” Hoylman-Sigal said.

Dr. Rex Gido, MD, Sports Medicine Physician at Guthrie Clinic, said concussions can be very challenging to deal with and requires a team effort.

“I really do think it’s important for what this bill is trying to accomplish because ultimately we don’t want to see bad things happen to these kids both in the short and in the long term,” Gido said.


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