The Washington Post

Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois describes his recovery in video

This is powerful stuff: In a new video, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) details his ongoing rehabilitation after suffering a stroke in January.

In it, he says, “I suffered a stroke on the 21st of January and thanks to the doctors, nurses of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, I’m walking again, leading to my hope to climb the 45 steps that my staff counted from the parking lot to the Senate front door to fight for the people of Illinois.”

“I’m currently enrolled in a walking study for stroke patients,” Kirk says in the video. “It’s described as an intensive program. One of the more interesting set ups they had was a set of wraps around my legs, with silver balls to be all recorded so that a stick figure could be generated on the computer. They have some devious ways of making things more difficult on me. Yesterday I was wearing a 10-pound weight. They described it as the weight of a baby on your ankle, which really does slow you down.”

The video, set to upbeat music, shows Kirk at the RIC continuing his rehabilitation both with the aid of a walking machine and with the assistance of nurses and a cane.

At the end of the video, in occasionally halting speech, Kirk adds: “I want to thank everyone especially for the patience they have given me to recover from a big stroke. I want to thank the people of Illinois for granting me the honor to represent them in the United States Senate. I can’t wait to go back to work, to vote to spend less, and borrow less and tax less to help fix our economy.”

In an op-ed published Wednesday in the Chicago Tribune, Kirk describes when he first realized he was having a stroke: “I felt four waves pass through my brain, each lasting approximately 15 minutes. I cannot describe the feeling except to say that something profound was happening inside my skull. Those waves were causing my brain to swell and my symptoms worsened.”

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Follow Ed O’Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

More from PostPolitics:

Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.


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