News > Wearing a Helmet Saved a Teen Snowboarder's Life

Wearing a Helmet Saved a Teen Snowboarder's Life

Wearing a Helmet Could Save your LifeAlmost half of skiers and snowboarders still don't wear a helmetAfter a near-death snowboarding accident, a New Hampshire teen credits his helmet for saving his life.

Teenager Sean Rowell overshot a landing and was knocked unconscious while snowboarding in New Hampshire on Loon Mountain. He was immediately flown to the hospital where he spent two weeks.

“For six days, I was in a coma. Then I was well enough to be transferred to Spaulding Rehab in Boston, where I spent four more weeks recovering,” Rowell said.

Although the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) states helmet usage has increased over the past decade, almost half of the skiers and snowboarders still don’t wear them.

Two recent deaths within two weeks on the same mountain in New Hampshire helps remind people the importance of wearing a helmet. NSAA reports about 40 Americans die on the slopes skiing or snowboarding each year. If Rowell didn’t wear his, doctors told him and his family he would have died without it.

“Helmets don’t make you invincible. But they do lesson the severity of an injury. It did save me,” said Rowell.

Recovery has been long for Rowell, but about year after the accident, he’s done incredibly well. At one time, his entire left side was paralyzed. He has now regained feeling, but feels stiff and has given up his favorite sports. He doesn’t play lacrosse and football anymore due to his injuries.

Rowell is still haunted by that day and believes there should be a mandated law to wear helmets on the slopes. He doesn’t want anyone to endure what he has been through. “It’s not a good feeling knowing I was very close to dying,” he says. “It gives me the chills whenever I think about it.”

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