Growing up in Prince George, Andrea Cochrane was extremely active in athletics and academics. But later in life she experienced concentration problems and mood changes that led to her death. Now her mother is raising awareness about the dangers of concussions.
As a child and teenager Andrea Cochrane took part in t-ball, soccer, dance, and skiing. Following graduation she volunteered overseas before heading to the University of Alberta to become a geophysicist. However, while she was in school she began experiencing problems.
"She was experiencing, while she was at university, some memory loss, concentration problems," says her mother Laurie Cochrane. Andrea still graduated top of her class, but her issues became worse and she experienced mood changes, including a hospitalization for depression.
It was only while watching a documentary about concussions that Laurie thought Andrea's problems might be linked to her past. As a teenage competitive skier, Andrea experienced three concussions over the course of eight months, followed by two more as an adult. Laurie believes this led to Andrea's problems, including a later hospitalization for depression and, eventually, suicide.
"I do think that looking back at everything and seeing all that she went through I do believe that absolutely concussions had a part to play in her illness and eventually her death."
Laurie hopes that Andrea's life and death can shed new light on the consequences of concussions. Listen to her full interview with Betsy Trumpener below: