Rowan Stringer was a high school rugby player in Ontario, Canada who aspired to become a nurse. Tragically, Rowan passed away from Second Impact Syndrome at the age of 17 in 2013 after suffering multiple concussions within the same week without informing parents or coaches. Four days prior to her final injury, Rowan was tackled and landed on her head and neck. After Rowan passed away, her family donated her brain to research at the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank. Her legacy lives on today through Rowan’s Law, which mandates annual concussion education for athletes, parents, coaches, and team officials in Ontario.
By Gordon Stringer
Rowan was 17 years old and in Grade 12 (Senior) when she passed away following a concussion received during a rugby match for her high school team. A Coroners Inquest into her death held in May of 2013 concluded that she died from Second Impact Syndrome and had likely suffered two previous concussions in two games during the five days preceding the match where she suffered the fatal injury.
Rowan was captain of her high school team and also played for the Barrhaven Scottish RFC. She played ringette, soccer, flag football, lacrosse and was also a keen snowboarder. She had been accepted into Ottawa University to study to become a Registered Nurse.
Her death and the results of the Inquest spurred her family to campaign for "Rowan's Law" in Ontario. The law, the first of it's kind in Canada, came in to force on September 9, 2016.
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