‘Still in a lot of pain,’ says Mayor Watts

Surrey mayor speaks from her Cloverdale home about recent horse riding accident.

She remembers the trail ride near 108 Mile House when her horse started to gallop.

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts came down hard in the saddle once, and then again.

That’s when she heard the crack.

It was two vertebrae in her lower back fracturing under compression.

In searing pain, she rolled off the horse and fell to the ground.

Two-and-a-half weeks later, the woman renowned for her scrappy nature, has been released from hospital and is convalescing at home.

“I’ve been better, I’m still in a lot of pain,” Watts told The Leader. “I’m using a walker 30 years before I thought I’d have a walker.”

She begins physiotherapy Wednesday and will continue for an undetermined period.

Watts, who likes to remain busy, knows her biggest challenge during recovery will be to remain still long enough to mend.

That said, she knows this stage of recovery is important.

“I’m going to do whatever they tell me to do,” she said.

In six weeks, she’ll be seeing an orthopedic surgeon to determine the level of healing.

Meanwhile, it’ll be about keeping up with the physiotherapy, and catching up on some reading.

While Surrey council is on a summer break, which buys her some time, Watts also realizes there’s a civic campaign coming up for the November election.

“I can only do what I can do, right?” Watts said. “I move forward and heal the best I can.”

Watts was taken aback by the huge outpouring of good wishes from people on social media sites and the letter pages of local newspapers.

“That was really very comforting to me in hospital, with all the well-wishes and thoughts and prayers,” Watts said. “That really helps a lot.”