Sen. Kirk releases video of stroke rehab
May 8th, 2012
04:17 PM ET
2 years ago

Sen. Kirk releases video of stroke rehab

(CNN) – Nearly four months after suffering a severe stroke to the right side of his brain, Republican Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois released a web video showing his journey in learning how to walk again.

Thanking his doctors and supporters, Kirk said he hopes to soon "climb the 45 steps that my staff counted from the parking lot to the Senate front door" and "fight for the people of Illinois."

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The first-term senator details in the nearly three-minute video his intensive recovery program at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, in which he's taking part in developing walking studies.

"They have some devious ways of making things more difficult," Kirk said. "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."

Last week, his office announced he was being released from the hospital for the first time since the end of January, when Kirk, 52, underwent successful surgery to relieve swelling around his brain stemming from the stroke.

"I want to thank everybody, especially for the patience they have given me to recover from a big stroke," Kirk said. "I can't wait to go back to work to vote to spend less, and borrow less and tax less to fix our economy."

Elected to the Senate in 2010, Kirk previously served as a U.S. House member for 10 years. He's best known for eventually winning President Barack Obama's Senate seat after Obama was elected president in 2008.

Kirk bested Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, the state treasurer who had strong support from Obama. The seat had been vacated by Democrat Roland Burris after he was embroiled in scandal surrounding his appointment by then-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to fill Obama's seat.

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Filed under: Illinois • Mark Kirk • Senate
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. lyn

    Will Kirk return to the Senate and fight for all American's to get the same medical insurance he has? That's a rhetorical question, we know the answer to that. Not on your life, he's a Republican the brand that has their's, but don't give a damn if anybody else has anything even close.

    May 8, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. cali girl

    get better real soon!!!

    May 8, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  3. Silly Baggers!

    Politically I desperately want this W Jr. voted out. Non-politically I wish him well on his recovery and a speedy return back to work.

    May 8, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  4. charles

    He is lucky he has government and the best insurance for free.I would be dead by now if it had happenened to me and many of us. He wanted to deny others basic insurance. May God bless his wicked soil.Amen

    May 8, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  5. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Hurry back Sen. Kirk. You have a lot of fight left in you!! He's still pretty young and hopefully able to recover.

    May 8, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  6. SF

    How is that government ran health insurance working for you jerk?! that WE THE PEOPLE PAY FOR, AND YOU DENY TO US!

    May 8, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  7. The REAL Truth...

    While I wish him a speedy recovery, it's a good thing has has that great lifetime (FREE) and BEST healthcare that we (the people) simply cannot buy. If it was one of us, we'd be dead, or broke, or both. Must be nice to have the best care in the world at taxpayer expense.
    Perhaps Congress should have the same health choices as we (the people) do. After all, they are supposed to represent us – and last I recall – I was paying handsomely each month for my [limited] healthcare coverage.

    May 8, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  8. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    I thought you had to have compassion to be on the left??? Oh yeah, just hate is required. Never mind.

    May 8, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  9. Marie MD

    @Obama2012bend whatever, just think of all the states that are taking women's healthcare away from them and closing Planned Parenthood clinics or make women pay for needless sonograms or, like your boy sociobishop said, tell them to go somewhere else.
    That's compassion!?!?!? Get back when your party of mutants get some.

    May 8, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  10. Ricky W Atlanta

    If this happend to an average American with a $50.000 dollar income his debt from this would kill him in 10 years and his fee's would be transfered to his kids! Its sad the congress get free health care but Normal Americans have to give up the farm to live!... I really dislike the GOP!

    May 8, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  11. badcyclist

    It's funny– all of those Republicans who were loudly demanding that Gabby Giffords resign her seat in the months after she was shot are suddenly verrrry quiet.

    I am curious to see how Sen. Kirk responds to the fact that he gets the health care he needs while millions of Americans have no one to turn to (and millions of others THINK they will be taken care of when they are sick but are going to be in for a rude shock when their insurance companies refuse to pay, or pay a fraction of their medical bills).

    May 8, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  12. Gigi

    6 years ago my husband suffered a major accident with a total bill of $70,000.00 just for the hospital stay and the surgery fees. The doctor fees were an additional $25,000.00. Couple days after that my 20 year old had to be MEDEVAC to Florida to a tune of $45,000. (I live in the Virgin Islands) plus an additional $20,000 for hospital care. Now, thanks to both my husband and my insurance we did not have to pay a red cent, also due to me being a member of the us military, 25 years, we don't have to ever worry about coverage. That is the kind of insurance we all need to have. I find it curios that those of us who are so fortunate cannot stop to understand the devastation that not being adequately insured can cost. I tell you, when I opened that insurance statement for the MEDEVAC and saw $45,000 paid in full I was so relieved. Without insurance, we would have lost it all and my grandson who was the smalles child ever to be born in the state of Florida would not be here. Health insurance for all is a must!

    May 8, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |