Kirk Moves to Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
Doctors say Senator has several pre-stroke factors in his favor.
Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Highland Park, has been transferred from Northwestern Memorial Hospital to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) where he will be under the care of Dr. Richard L. Harvey, medical director of RIC’s Center for Stroke Rehabilitation.
The move comes three days after Kirk underwent surgery Tuesday (Feb. 7) to replace the portion of his skull that was removed after his stroke on Jan. 21.
- See related story: Kirk Remains in Good Condition After Brain Surgery
According to Dr. Harvey, RIC's team will spend the next few days assessing Kirk’s condition and developing a rehabilitation program tailored to achieve the goals established by Kirk and his family.
"The Senator has several pre-stroke factors in his favor that our research and experience demonstrate will foster a better recovery, including his relative youth, good general health and fitness, strong personal motivation, and high intelligence,” Dr. Harvey said.
Kirk's family extended its thanks to the work on Kirk's behalf at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and all of the get-well wishes.
"Words will never be good enough to express the love and appreciation we feel," the statement read. "From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. As Mark begins the next phase in his recovery, we want to thank the thousands of people around the state, the nation and the world who have called, written notes, sent flowers and offered their thoughts and prayers. Mark's drive and spirit are stronger than ever, and we know he will give 110 percent in the days ahead."
Doctors performed the first operation Jan. 22 when they removed a 4-by 8-inch piece of Kirk’s skull to relieve swelling in his brain, according to statements from the senator’s office.
Since having the stroke Jan. 21, Kirk has undergone two operations to relieve swelling in his brain. The swelling stabilized Feb. 3. Both surgeries were successful and Fessler has been pleased with the continual progress.
On Feb. 1, dead tissue was removed from Kirk’s brain to accommodate the swelling, according to Fessler.
On Jan. 29, Kirk received a visit from his best friend in the Senate, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., 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 on 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.