Kirk leaves rehab center
Sen. Mark Kirk, who suffered a major stroke in January, has left the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and will continue treatment there as an outpatient, his family and an aide said Thursday.
“We are happy to say … Mark has progressed to the point where he can move home with his family,” according to a news release Thursday from unidentified relatives.
Kirk already has left the rehabilitation institute and “will be staying with various family members during his continued recovery,” Andrew Flach, his communications director, said Thursday.
One official familiar with Kirk’s recovery said the goal is for him to return to the Senate in the fall after the congressional recess in August. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the senator’s recovery.
Kirk’s family, in the release, also said he has begun a “rigorous” study program of walking to further his mobility and independence while “maintaining his schedule with staff.”
His family added: “We are grateful for the wonderful doctors and personnel at the RIC for their care of Mark, and to the residents of Illinois who have given him privacy and time to heal. We also thank everyone who has shared their prayers and wishes for his return to the U.S. Senate as soon as possible.”
Kirk fell ill Jan. 21, had three brain surgeries at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and was transferred Feb. 10 to the institute for post-stroke therapy.
Last week, the institute made public a photo of Kirk — the first image released since he was stricken — and Dr. Richard Harvey, medical director for the institute’s Center for Stroke Rehabilitation, described the lawmaker as “mentally sharp.”
Kirk is meeting nearly daily with his staff to talk about policy and global current events, Harvey said.
The North Shore Republican entered the Senate late in 2010 after nearly 10 years in the House.
By Katherine Skiba, Chicago Tribune reporter
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