Sen. Mark Kirk released a YouTube video on Tuesday showing clips of his physical rehabilitation program and recovery following a stroke he suffered in January.
“I suffered a stroke on the 21st of January. And thanks to the doctors, nurses, and professionals of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, the RIC, I’m walking again, leading to my hope to climb the 45 steps that my staff counted, from the parking lot to the Senate front door, to fight for the people of Illinois," said Kirk in the video.
Watch the full video and read the transcript below.
Full Text of Recovery VideoSenator Kirk: I suffered a stroke on the 21st of January, and thanks to the doctors, nurses and professionals at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, the RIC, I am walking again, leading to my hope to climb the 45 steps that my staff counted from the parking lot to the Senate front door, to fight for the people of Illinois.I am currently enrolled in a walking study for stroke patients. It is described as an intensive program. One of the more interesting setups that they had was a set of wraps around my legs with silver balls to be recorded so a stick figure could be generated on the computer. They have some devious ways of making things more difficult on you. Yesterday I was wearing a ten-pound weight; they described it as a weight of a baby anchor, which really does slow you down.Sometimes, Dr. Hornby picks up the pace and makes you work really hard. This is the standard speed of a walker. Before, whenever they said we’re going to walk over ground - that was a fivealarm fire. Knowing that it was going to be really hard. There came a time at the RIC when they would say, just to do a lap of the hospital floor - now its no problem.I want to thank everyone especially for the patience they have given me to recover from a big stroke. I want to thank the people of Illinois for granting me the honor to represent them in the United States Senate. I cannot wait to go back to work to vote to spend less, borrow less and tax less to help fix our economy.
Kirk was first taken into care and underwent three surgeries at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, according to a press release from the senator's offce. He later moved to RIC on February 10, where he began in-patient therapy. On May 3, he was released from the RIC and moved home with his family.
Sen. Kirk has begun a unique, rigorous outpatient walking program for post-stroke patients at RIC, the release said. The trial is focused on improving gait pattern through an intense regimen of continuous walking on flat surfaces, stairs and a treadmill. Kirk has walked more than 10 miles altogether since he arrived at RIC.