INDIANAPOLIS — In the afternoon of May 23rd, on the Lawrence North High School football field 15-year-old R’Mon Rowley collapsed and later died.
Ariane Stokes raced to Community North Hospital and arrived in time to watch the final failed efforts to revive her son.
“I went in the room, and he was just laying there, and they were still doing chest compressions on him but my son was already dead. He was already dead,” said Stokes.
Lawrence Fire Chief Dino Batalis says an ambulance arrived in eight minutes. By the time EMTs reached Rowley, he was undergoing CPR and the teen was shocked twice with a portable defribulator.
A spokesperson for the school district insists Rowley was a participant in a practice with the school’s track team.
In an exclusive interview with Fox 59, Stokes said her son’s focus was getting ready for football.
“(R’Mon) said that the coach reached out to him and said he wanted him on the team… because he wanted to have him on defense,” said Stokes.
Matt Keough spent two years as Rowley’s big brother through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana. Keough confirms the young man’s interest centered on playing football.
“The last time I saw him, I could tell that at the very least he was expecting the practices to be difficult,” said Keough.
Rowley did have a physical and was cleared to participate.
The school district spokesperson disclosed, that its internal investigation into the circumstances of Rowley’s death has been completed but declined to release the findings citing federal privacy laws.
Leading the coaching staffs of both the school football and track teams is Patrick Mallory, a physical education teacher at Lawrence North. Fox59 reached out to Mallory to get more information about what happened that day, but there was no reply.
At least some information from the school’s investigation was shared with Rowley’s family. That has not satisfied Stokes desire to know how her son died.
“I want the truth. I want answers. I would like to know what happened to my son.”
Many of the answers Stokes seeks are still weeks away. The Marion County Coroner’s Office has not determined a cause of death for Rowley. That will have to wait until toxicology tests are back and an examination of the teen’s lungs and heart.