Video Shows Kirk Walking, Talking Post-Stroke - NBC Chicago
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Video Shows Kirk Walking, Talking Post-Stroke



    The Illinois Senator has been silent with the media since a January 21, 2012 stroke impacted his life. Kirk released his first public statement on May 8, 2012. (Published Tuesday, May 8, 2012)

    Sen. Mark Kirk on Tuesday released his first personal public statement since suffering a stroke in January.

    An online video posted to YouTube gives a glimpse into the damage the stroke did to his body and the extent to which he's recovered in just three months.

    "I want to thank everyone especially for the patience they have given me to recover from a big stroke," Kirk says into the camera in the nearly three minute video, released in coordination with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, where he spent several weeks in recovery.

    The video shows Kirk during several physical therapy sessions, covered in medical equipment and struggling to control his motor functions. His personal goal, he says in the video: being able to climb the 45 steps it takes to get to the front door of the Senate.

    "I cannot wait to get back to work to vote to spend less, borrow less and tax less to fix our economy," he said.

    Kirk, 52, checked himself into Lake Forest Hospital on Jan. 21. Doctors discovered a carotid artery dissection in the right side of his neck, and he was transferred to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Further tests showed Kirk had suffered an ischemic stroke and he underwent surgery to relieve swelling around his brain.

    Illinois' junior senator just went home last week.