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Tragic death of rugby player Rowan Stringer hopes to bring education on the signs and signals of a concussion or brain injury. Do you know what to look for?

Ottawa Child Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth .

The very tragic death of young Rowan Stringer has left the Ottawa community with great sadness.   Rowan attended  John McCrae Secondary School student in Ottawa and was the captain of the rugby team when she died from a severe head injury during a rugby game last Wednesday. Rowan Stringer was an avid rugby player and played on several different rugby teams.

It was reported that Rowan was  tackled hard during the rugby game on Wednesday, flew into the air and hit her head and neck on the ground. Upon impact, Rowan was awake, sat up but quickly fell  unconscious. Sadly, she didn’t wake up. She remained unconscious for days while medical team worked at relieving the pressure in her head and then on Sunday, her family made the most difficult decision of their lives. Rowan was taken to hospital, where doctors tried unsuccessfully to relieve the pressure in her head but there was too much pressure and the decision was made to discontinue life support.

Rowan’s parents, Gordon and Kathleen Stringer, told CBC News that their daughter had been complaining of headaches the week before and that she’d been hit in the head in a game the week before the fatal tackle.  Then, just 2 days before the fatal injury, she was once again  hit in the head during a rugby game.  She didn’t report this second hit to her parents. The doctors are now investigating whether or not she may have suffered a smaller head injury that may have some impact on the fatal head injury.

Sadly, Rowan is now gone and she can’t be brought back. Her family is hoping that her death will  help educate others on the signs and signals of brain injuries. Her organs have been donated to help save the lives of others. What an amazing thing for this family to have done after going through such a terrible tragedy.

The question now is could Rowan’s death possibly save lives in the future? I hope so and so does her family. The hope is that there will be more education as it relates to head injuries, concussions and sports. Rowan’s death has been widely publicized . The hope now is that all this publicity may save another  life. As a Ottawa personal injury lawyer who helps people with severe concussions and brain injuries, I believe it is vital that we talk to our kids, coaches, teachers, caregivers, friends about the signs and symptoms of concussions.  Our children and athletes need to know what to be looking for and to know to tell someone.  I believe that if we really educate our athletes and their families, we can help reduce the number of deaths and further injuries.

Unfortunately, concussions are fairly common and can range in severity. It is estimated that a concussion or  mild brain trauma is sustained every 21 seconds. The signs of a concussion so you can take the proper steps to treat the injury. The signs of a concussion also vary , which is why it is often difficult to determine if someone is suffering form a concussion or not. The following is not a comprehensive list, but does describe some of the

symptoms one might have if they are suffering a concussion:

  • confused or dazed
  • clumsy
  • slurring speech
  • nausea or vomiting
  • headaches
  • off balance or dizzy
  • blurred vision
  • sensitive to light and noise
  • sluggishness
  • ears ringing
  • changes in personality or changes in behaviour
  • difficulty concentrating
  • loss of memory

There are many more signs; however these seem to be the most common. As a Ottawa personal injury lawyer and as a father of 3 children involved in sports, I urge you to talk about concussions, what to expect and what to do.  It could very well save a life. Rowan’s death is so incredibly sad and tragic that we owe it to her and her family to do everything we can to teach others about the signs and symptoms of a concussion. My thoughts go out to Rowan’s family and friends and this very tragic and difficult time.

 

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