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Monday, January 23, 2012

Illinois Senator Kirk Sidelined By Ischemic Stroke

Illinois Senator Kirk Sidelined By Ischemic Stroke

“Doctors can’t say how long Kirk’s recovery might take or how soon he might be able to return to work.”  

By Dell Hill via Chicago Sun Times

The man who won the Senate seat formerly held by President Barack Obama has suffered a stroke.
“U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) has had a stroke and underwent “successful” surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he is recovering.

After being stricken Saturday, Kirk, 52, who is divorced and lives in Highland Park, drove himself to Lake Forest Hospital, “where doctors discovered a carotid artery dissection in the right side of his neck,” his office said.

Kirk was later transferred to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where tests showed that he had suffered an ischemic stroke, his staff said, and he underwent surgery to relieve swelling around his brain.  That included temporarily removing a 4-inch by 8-inch section of his skull.

Dr. Richard Fessler, the neurosurgeon at Northwestern Memorial who performed the surgery, said the senator suffered a stroke ”to the right side of his brain.  What that means is it will affect his ability to move his left arm and possibly his left leg.”

It also could result in “some facial paralysis,” the surgeon said.

He said it was fortunate that the stroke didn’t involve the left side of the brain, which could have affected the senator’s ability to speak and think.

“We’re very hopeful . . . he should be able to do very well,” Fessler said.

He said the surgery took place Sunday night and involved “removing a part of his skull to relieve swelling.”

Fessler wouldn’t say how long Kirk’s recovery might take or how soon he might be able to return to work.”

Read the entire report right here.

Dell’s Bottom Line:

At this point, it’s impossible to do anything except conjecture, but it’s very possible this condition (which is very serious) could end Senator Kirk’s political career.  He just had a 4 inch by 8 inch section of his skull removed to relieve brain swelling.  Not exactly a minor procedure and not something that will be cured overnight.  In fact, Kirk could find himself in the very same position Gabby Giffords was in - having to resign her congressional seat in order to focus solely on her recovery.

I have political differences with Senator Kirk, but this certainly isn’t the time or place to be bringing that stuff up.  As Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel said, “Senator Kirk and I have served on different sides of the aisle, but the entire City of Chicago is by his side today. He remains in our thoughts and prayers as he recovers.”  And I agree with Rahm.

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