Update: Kirk’s Doctor Issues Prognosis
Senator’s ability to “speak, understand and think” should not be reduced.
(Updated at 1:30 p.m.) The doctor treating Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Highland Park) expressed confidence today his ability to “speak, understand and think” will not be impaired but he could have physical impairments, according to reports on WBBM radio.
Kirk suffered a stroke Saturday on the right side of his brain which controls the use of the left side of his body, according to Dr. Richard Fessler of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, the neurosurgeon who treated Kirk.
“Fortunately, the stroke was not the left side of his brain, in which case, it would affect his ability to speak, understand and think,” Fessler said, according to WBBM. “So we’re very hopeful that when we get through all of his recovery, all of those functions will be intact and that he should be able to do very well.” At this point Fessler will not predict when Kirk might return to work.
(Earlier) Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Highland Park), 52, is recovering from surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital to relieve swelling around his brain as a result of a stroke suffered Saturday, according to a statement from his office.
“The surgery was successful,” a spokesperson said in the release. “Due to his young age, good health and the nature of the stroke, doctors are very confident in the Senator's recovery over the weeks ahead."
Senator Kirk checked himself into Lake Forest Hospital Saturday, where doctors discovered a carotid artery dissection in the right side of his neck, according to the release. He was transferred to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where further tests revealed that he had suffered an ischemic stroke.
Rep. Robert Dold (R-Kenilworth), who succeeded Kirk in Congress when Illinois’ junior senator was elected to the Senate, expressed his wishes for a speedy recovery.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Senator Kirk and his family today,” Dold said. “I would like to thank the medical professionals for their excellent work and their immediate actions to care for the Senator.”