Kirk climbs Capitol steps, returns to Senate after stroke
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Nearly a year after suffering a major stroke, Senator Mark Kirk is getting back to work in Washington.
The Highland Park Republican climbed 45 steps outside the U.S. Capitol Building this morning. His doctors say it was really a journey to give hope to others.
Kirk’s neurosurgeon, Dr. Richard Fessler of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and medical personnel from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago were on hand in Washington to witness the climb.
Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Dick Durbin and Congressman Bobby Rush were among dozens of colleagues and supporters who cheered Kirk as he climbed the steps.
Kirk took several pauses as he made his way up the stairs, stopping to wave and at one point yelling to the crowd, “Let’s get to work guys!”
Kirk missed the last 12 months in the Senate as he recovered in Chicago from the stroke he suffered in January of 2012.
His doctors say, to get to this point is tremendous. They say his recovery is mental, as well as physical.
The doctors say when he began his recovery Kirk was barely able to balance himself. Now he can walk almost by himself with the help of a cane.