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Sen. Mark Kirk upgraded to fair condition

Sen. Mark Kirk

Sen. Mark Kirk

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Updated: March 1, 2012 8:45AM



Sen. Mark Kirk has been upgraded to “fair” condition at Northwestern Memorial Hospital a week after undergoing surgery for a stroke.

“Senator Kirk’s recovery is continuing,” his neurosurgeon, Richard Fessler, said in a written statement. “He is alert, talking and responding well to questions.”

Fessler has said that Kirk stands a good chance of a full mental recovery from his stroke but that he may have limited use of his left limbs and he may have some facial paralysis.

While he is speaking, Fessler had said that some slurring of speech would be expected at least initially.

Kirk, a former North Shore congressman and U.S. Naval Reserve intelligence officer, was elected U.S. senator two years ago in a close contest against former State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.

He has proven one of the more active practitioners of bipartisan outreach on Capitol Hill.

His Democratic colleague Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia visited him over the weekend and reported he was encouraged by Kirk’s attitude and expected him to be back in Washington, D.C., before long.

Last Saturday, after returning from extensive tours of Poland and downstate Illinois, Kirk felt ill and drove himself to a hospital.

On Sunday he was transferred to Northwestern, where doctors discovered the stroke and removed an 8-inch-by-4-inch section of his skull to alleviate pressure on his brain. Doctors performed a follow-up surgery Wednesday to remove some dead brain tissue.



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