Tri States Public Radio Staff
"Good Shot" at Mental Recovery
Mon January 23, 2012
Senator Kirk in Hospital After Stroke
US Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) has suffered a stroke and remains sedated at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
His neurosurgeon believes the 52-year old senator has a very good shot at making a full mental recovery.
Northwestern neurosurgeon Dr. Richard Fessler said Kirk suffered a "dry stroke," in which sections of the right side of his brain were deprived of blood.
“Fortunately the stroke was not on the left side of his brain, in which case it would effect his ability to speak, understand, and think,” Fessler said. “So we're very hopeful that when we get through all of his recovery, all of those functions will be intact and that he should be able to do very well.”
He added that recovery will take weeks or months.
Fessler said Kirk's prospects for a full mental recovery are very good, but it might be "very difficult" for him to regain use of his left arm.
Doctors performed surgery on Kirk Sunday night after he was "becoming less responsive." They removed a 4 inch by 8 inch section of his skull in order to relieve swelling.
Fessler said the senator originally checked in to Lake Forest Hospital on Saturday, complaining of dizziness and perhaps a headache.
He was transferred to Northwestern on Sunday.
A statement from Kirk's family said: “Mark has always shown great courage and resilience, and we are confident that the fighter in him will prevail.”
Governor Pat Quinn said: “We can all take comfort knowing that as a Navy commander, Sen. Kirk knows how to fight and he will fight through this to return to his work on behalf of the people of Illinois as quickly as possible.”
Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady said: “Mark has always been a tireless fighter in our military and in Congress, and I know that continues today with his recovery.”
Thanks in part to Illinois Public Radio