U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, who has spent most of the year recovering from a stroke, will receive a special welcome back when he returns to Capitol Hill this week.
On Thursday Kirk will return to the Senate, where he will climb the stairs and be greeted by Vice President Joe Biden, according to a Chicago Sun-Times report.
The 53-year-old junior Congressman suffered a devastating stroke on Jan. 23 that left many wondering if he would be able to recover. He underwent emergency surgery and has since had treatment including vigorous experimental therapy with longer workouts than usual for stroke victims.
He released videos to the public to keep them up-to-date with his progress. From the first videos he released, Kirk has said he wants to climb the steps of the Senate upon his return and already has completed some 37 floors of the Willis Tower as practice.
“I hope this gives a message to people across Illinois that may face stroke,” Kirk said last month during his first post-stroke interview at the Rehab Institute of Chicago’s Stair Climb at Willis Tower.
Last week, Kirk returned to his Senate office and met with aides for the first time since suffering the stroke. Aides said the state's junior senator met with them to discuss his anticipated return to work when the new Congress convenes on Jan. 3.