Illinois senator, recovering from stroke, headed back to work
CHICAGO — Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk, who suffered a major stroke a year ago that required months of intense physical and speech rehabilitation, will return to work in Washington on Jan. 3, aides said on Thursday.
Kirk had indicated that he'd be back next month but hadn't specified a date. His aides confirmed the date, saying in a brief statement that the Republican “remains on track to be back when the Senate convenes on Jan. 3rd for the 113th Congress.”
His office provided no other details.
Kirk's doctors — and outside medical experts — have said that the 53-year-old has made excellent progress.
His treatment included vigorous experimental therapy with longer workouts than usual for stroke victims. Kirk walked nearly 15 miles and 145 flights of stairs over the course of nine weeks. Last month he even participated in a charity stair climb at the Willis Tower. Gripping a handrail and wearing a brace, he climbed 37 floors for a fundraiser for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, where he's received treatment.
While Kirk has not appeared publicly since the stroke, he has released a series of videos detailing his progress. They've shown footage of him working with therapists and climbing stairs.
In one earlier this year, he said he dreamed of being able to walk up to the Senate chambers.
“I'm walking again, leading to my hope to climb the 45 steps that my staff counted from the parking lot to the Senate front door, to fight for the people of Illinois,” he said.
Kirk suffered a stroke on Jan. 21, which limited movement on the left side of his body and speech. He underwent emergency surgery that included the temporary removal of a piece of his skull to allow for swelling and the removal of small pieces of brain tissue destroyed by the stroke.
Kirk spoke briefly to reporters last month on Election Day about his plans to return to Washington as he cast a ballot in suburban Chicago. He used a cane to walk and said that banning sewage dumping in the Great Lakes will be his priority for this Congress.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Edible pot ban proposed, yanked in Colorado
- Earth heads for record 2014
- High court will take case on gun ownership
- GOP governors don’t see ‘Obamacare’ going away
- Indiana slaying suspect hints at more deaths
- Suspect in Va. disappearance charged in rape
- Over 3 years, extended federal leave adds up to $775M
- Crying suspect trapped in Calif. chimney, saved but arrested
- Sampling of toxins under way at former steel plant in Kentucky
- Crowd at Met protests ‘Death of Klinghoffer,’ calling opera anti-Semitic
- U.S. doctor’s book recounts rescue in Afghanistan in which Norwin graduate died