Spotlight: Harley Rowe


Realize how lucky you are to walk up the stairs and run two laps.

That’s advice from C. M. Russell High School’s Harly Rowe, a Rustler golfer, basketball player, and member of the track team, to her fellow students and athletes.

Rowe, a junior, says this because those two simple tasks are not as easy for her as they once were. She currently has Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, (CRPS) a condition she developed after a Liz Frank fracture in her left foot went undetected during her freshman basketball season and she continued to play on the injury.

In August 2012, the pain moved up to Rowe’s knee. Rowe said a doctor in Great Falls referred her to doctors in Missoula, who  finally diagnosed her with CRPS. Now, Rowe must go to Missoula for operations at the “pain center.”

During the operations, which Rowe said cost two thousand dollars, doctors “stick two big needles into my spinal cord” to numb her leg, with the goal to get her nervous system working correctly. So far, she said she has had two operations, with the next coming Feb. 5.

After the operation, Rowe said she must relearn to walk. She also said she needs to have an operation every two weeks for as long as doctors think they need to, which could be life-long. Still, Rowe said she is very grateful for her doctors and nurses as well as CMR trainer Teayre Klosterman, who all help to get Rowe through day-to-day life as normally as possible.

Rowe said it is very important to keep the condition from spreading to her organ systems to prevent big problems. “It can become as bad as cancer,” Rowe said of CRPS.

In the meantime, Rowe takes anti-seizure medication to slow her brain down, which has hindered her school work and given her flu-like symptoms. “It’s hard,” Rowe said of what she goes through.

As for sports, “Until I can get my body to function… any stop and go action in sports isn’t okay.” Rowe said she could potentially participate in track this spring, likely in the 400 meters, but would need someone at the end of the finish line to stop her. She also is hopeful she can rejoin the basketball team in some capacity her senior year, as “It’s been a part of my life for a long time.”

Rowe has one last bit of advice: “For anybody that ever has an injury, I would completely listen to what doctors say.”