Sen. Mark Kirk Home, 3 Months After Stroke

May 3, 2012 4:29pm

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., who suffered a stroke in late January, has recovered enough to leave the rehabilitation center he’s been living at for the last three months and will continue his recovery from home, his Senate office announced today.

“Mark has progressed to the point where he can move home with his family,” his family said in a statement today. “He has begun a rigorous walking study program to further his mobility and independence while maintaining his schedule with staff.”

The senator, 52, will continue to work on his recovery as an out-patient at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, according to the statement.

In late January doctors discovered a carotid artery dissection in the right side of Kirk’s neck, revealing he had suffered an ischemic stroke. The senator underwent surgery to relieve swelling around his brain stemming from the stroke but doctors cautioned it would be a long recovery ahead and Kirk had not been back to Washington or home since.

In late April, Kirk’s office released the first photograph of the senator in the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, noting that he “remains fully engaged in all aspects of his rehabilitation program,” and they are “quite pleased” with his recovery.

“He is mentally sharp, and meets with his staff nearly every day to discuss policy issues and global current events,” Dr. Richard L. Harvey, medical director of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Center for Stroke Rehabilitation said in April. “Senator Kirk is working very hard in daily therapy sessions to increase his strength and mobility, and has walked more than 10 miles in total since his arrival at RIC.  In addition he is climbing stairs and getting in and out of vehicles.”

Because of  his “young age, good health, and the nature of the stroke,” his doctors were initially very confident in the Senator’s recovery over the months ahead.

In the statement released today, the Kirk family thanked those who have “given him privacy and time to heal,” and to those who “shares their prayer and wishes for his return to the US Senate as soon as possible.”

Kirk served in the House, then in 2010 won the Senate seat formerly occupied by Barack Obama.

 

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