Reeve returns following months-long recovery
By Sue Tiffin
Published April 11, 2017
Dave Burton is back to the council table earlier than expected after recovering from a serious accident in December.
The Highlands East reeve required double knee surgery on Christmas Day after injuring himself in a fall on Dec. 23. He was at Ross Memorial Hospital for the surgery, spent eight weeks at Haliburton hospital, and then two weeks at Peterborough Regional Health Centre for physiotherapy.
Though he anticipated returning to his duties in June, Burton was released from the hospital in early March. He attended a special meeting of council on March 31, and was at an April 5 meeting after an early morning physiotherapy session.
“The physiotherapists are amazed at how well I’m doing, because when I had the accident, I couldn’t move either of my feet at all,” said Burton. He said he couldn’t bear weight on his legs and was completely bedridden at first.
“I’m not a spring chicken either, so I don’t know how it’s happened,” he joked.
Burton continues to get physiotherapy at home, and credits a pair of supportive running shoes for helping to keep him steady.
“He amazed me,” said Jane Underwood, Burton’s wife. “He has really come a long way in a very quick time.”
While at the hospital, Burton used technology to keep in touch via e-mail and by occasionally calling in to council meetings using Skype. At one point, Burton was released from the hospital in Peterborough to attend a convention.
“I didn’t want to lose touch completely,” he said. “I wanted to know what was going on.”
“That’s why he went into politics,” said Underwood. “Because he cares about what’s going on.”
Suzanne Partridge, deputy-reeve, filled in for Burton during his recovery time.
“It’s great having Dave back with us at the council table,” said Partridge. “I was very happy to [step in] for Dave and had good support from the rest of council and our great staff.”
Burton said he was overwhelmed with support from family, friends, fellow councillors and the public while he was in the hospital, and thanked doctors and nursing staff for his care.