Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Highland Park) is walking on a treadmill as he continues to make progress recovering from a stroke suffered Jan. 21, according to Dr. Richard L. Harvey, the physician treating the senator at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Center for Stroke Rehabilitation.
“Senator Kirk is adapting well to the rehabilitation program,” Harvey said. “This week he started walking exercises on a treadmill and is performing an increasing number of routine tasks independently. We are pleased with his progress.”
Kirk was transferred to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Feb. 10 just three days after he successfully underwent surgery to replace the portion of his skull that was removed Jan. 21 to relieve swelling of his brain after the stroke.
That surgery was Kirk’s third since the stroke. The first operation occurred Jan. 22 when doctors removed a four by eight inch piece of Kirk’s skull to relieve swelling in his brain, according to statements from the Senator’s office.
On Jan. 25, dead tissue was removed from Kirk’s brain to accommodate the swelling, according to Dr. Richard Fessler, the neurosurgeon who handled Kirk’s care when the senator was initially treated for the stroke at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
On Jan. 29, Kirk received a visit from his best friend in the Senate, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who brought Kirk cards from his colleagues, magazines and some work to do, according to a statement from the Senator’s office.
Kirk checked himself into Lake Forest Hospital Jan. 21, where doctors discovered a carotid artery dissection in the right side of his neck, according to a release issued Monday by Kirk’s office. He was transferred to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where further tests revealed that he had suffered an ischemic stroke.