Scott Forsyth’s conducting one of the area’s more unusual campaigns this election season.
The 60-year-old Rossland man has been running for city council out of his hospital bed on the third floor of Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital.
“On the 25th of September, I had a stroke,” he told the Rossland News. “I had not suspected a thing.”
Forsyth woke up that Tuesday morning unable to find his balance.
“I thought, this is bad,” he recalls. “I crawled to the bathroom, tried to sit up, and just keeled over.”
Rushed to hospital, ER doctors quickly concluded Forsyth had had a stroke.
Forsyth seems to have been fortunate: his speech, motor skills and cognition seem unaffected by the event. His balance, however, is slower coming back.
“But I am walking the halls with that walker, and I can stand up” he says. “And I’m throwing a ball back and forth in physio.”
Forsyth thought seriously about dropping out of the race. But his name was going to be on the ballot, and ultimately, he says, he’s sure he can do the job.
“The first year might be rough, but I am expecting to have a full recovery,” he says. “It just takes time, the body needs time to heal.
“And this is a four-year commitment. I didn’t want to shut myself out of the next four years of my life.”
Forsyth couldn’t make it to the all candidates forum on Oct. 2, but had a friend sit in for him. And he says it helps that small-town municipal races are reasonably laid-back affairs.
“In Rossland they’re pretty much non-campaign campaigns,” he says. “It’s low key, people know each other well and can ask each other questions.
“I am using Facebook to first tell people I am still running, and to ask them to vote for me.”
Forsyth credits the staff at the hospital for his swift recovery, saying he’s received amazing care. And he’s been touched by the outpouring he’s received from the community he’s called home for six years.
“The whole thing oddly enough has been a positive experience,” he says. “The whole world’s culture is about independence and individualism. It’s easy to get pulled away from community.
“Then something like this happens. And you are surrounded by the love and support of your friends, and the care of the hospital… it’s been good.”
On the day the News visited, Forsyth was due to go home the next day. He says he’ll take a few days to settle in, then perhaps combine his recovery with the election campaign.
“I picture just being out on Columbia, practicing walking, talking to people,” he says. “I’m not sure, maybe I’ll put a campaign sign on top of my hat.”