Kirk Releases Video, Returns Home
Senator walks on his own and talks regularly to staff.
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Highland Park) released a video today showing himself walking without a cane or harness, working in his Highland Park home and giving an update on his health and progress since his stroke in January.
When Kirk was first released from inpatient treatment at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago in May, he stayed with family members. Now he is living and working in his own residence.
Kirk stressed not only his recovery but the work he continues to do with his staff and colleagues. He emphasized his joint effort with Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Springfield) to find a replacement for former United States Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.
“We have formed a bipartisan committee of distinguished jurists to review applications,” Kirk said of the effort with Durbin to replace Fitzgerald. “We want a U.S. attorney who is as good as Peter Fitzgerald, one of the best public servants we have ever had in the State of Illinois.”
Making it clear he wants his constituents to know how he is progressing, he thanked them for being “patient with this patient.” He then launched into what he has been doing to recuperate from the stroke.
“The progress I have made is very encouraging,” Kirk said. “I have learned to walk again and improve my speaking skills. Now I’m speaking from my own law library in Ft. Sheridan, Illinois.” He got the most pride from ascending every stair at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago during his outpatient therapy.
Kirk also described how he continues to work with his staff and colleagues. “Almost every day I’ve been briefed on events that could be important to the State of Illinois,” he said. He talks with staff at least twice a day and communicates with Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on legislation in Washington.
In the last few months Kirk has pushed for tougher sanctions on Iran, according to a CNN report. He also introduced a bill to alter the definition of a Palestinian refugee, according to The Hill. Despite the effort, he recognizes the hard work remaining before he returns to full time duties in the Senate.