Karen Lewis Reveals She Suffered Stroke Last Week, Will Recover

"I woke up, couldn't move my left leg, my left hand," she told NBC 5

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis revealed on Tuesday she suffered a stroke last week, but will recover. 

Speaking from the hospital, Lewis, who in recent years had a tumor removed from her brain, said she suffered a stroke Thursday. 

"I woke up, couldn't move my left leg, my left hand," she told NBC 5.

Lewis said she had no speech issues following the stroke and plans to use physical therapy to regain movement on her left side. 

She remained in the hospital Tuesday but said she expects to be in rehab "very soon." 

At this same time three years ago, Lewis faced a diagnosis of glioblastoma, an aggressive type of brain cancer.

At the time, Lewis was considering running for Chicago mayor against Rahm Emanuel, but surgery, chemotherapy and radiation changed those plans. She returned to work on a part-time basis less than two months after she was diagnosed. 

"You're gonna find that you have some deficits," she said in July. "Most people don't even notice them. For me I've lost some words that I have to go and pull from somewhere. I'm used to being like this, but I'm pretty much back."

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he reached out to Lewis Tuesday morning after news first broke of her stroke.

“I reached out to Karen this morning to wish her a speedy recovery and, as anyone who knows Karen would assume, she was in a good humor," Emanuel said in a statement. "Karen Lewis has always been a strong voice for Chicago's children and Chicago's teachers, and the strength of her voice is only matched by the strength of her will. A stroke can't keep Karen Lewis down.”

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