Long road to recovery for Brentwood 8th grader critically hurt in car accident

BRENTWOOD, Long Island (WABC) -- It's been a long tough road for Donovan Maldonado.

The 8th grader is relearning how to talk, eat, and walk after being critically injured in a car accident.

His mother Laura had to quit her job to care him.

"Compared to where he was, it's like night and day. We know it's going to be slow progress so we have to be very patient. Especially since I want to hear his voice and I haven't heard it since before the accident," said Laura Garces Maldonado, Donny's mother.

Donny was hit by a car as he walked home from Brentwood North Middle School back in January.

He has needed round the clock medical care since.

"It's been a nightmare, but it's also been a blessing. Been a blessing in the sense that it's brought a lot of family together and friends together, the community together. We have the pleasure of watching a miracle happen. We'll have Donovan back the way he was 100 percent," said Matthew Maldonado, Donny's father.

So Thursday night, this Long Island community held a fundraiser to help with mounting medical bills, especially now that his father Matthew is the sole financial provider.

The auditorium filled with supporters who listened to music and comedic acts, all doing everything they can to raise funds.

Doctors don't know how long the road to a full recovery will last because of Donny's brain injury.

But, his family and friends say his spirit is strong.

"Donny is probably the funniest person I ever met, does this weird stuff to make everybody laugh. He smiles and lights up the room," said Elijah Rivera, Donny's friend.
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