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Hannah made steady progress her sophomore year, when her high school designated her as disabled and created an Individual Education Plan that allowed her to complete coursework at home.
So far this year, she has succeeded in two classes at school, while taking the rest at home, and reconnected with old teammates by managing the varsity soccer team.
She no longer plays the French horn or participates in sports. Hannah said it was hard to see another girl wear No. 8, her jersey number since she was little. An active church youth group and a support group for teens with long-term concussion symptoms have helped her cope with the loss of sports and the struggles with schoolwork.
The Sipes are left wondering, “What if?”
What if Hannah had spoken up about her injuries and removed herself from games right away? What if they hadn’t put her back in sports, even when doctors cleared her, or tried to put her back in school without help?
They’ll never know, but Hannah hopes others will learn from her experience, take concussions seriously, and ask for help from their schools.
“The what ifs,” Hannah said, “will kill you.”
Jeremy Olson • 612-673-7744