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Sen. Mark Kirk now home – three months after stroke

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk.

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, who suffered a stroke in January, has gone home.

Kirk (R-Ill.), 52, had been hospitalized since he first suffered stroke symptoms on Jan. 21. Since February, he has been at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, where his doctors said he has made steady progress and will be involved in a research project that involves more field rehabilitation than normal.

Though he will be spending nights at the homes of “various relatives,” his staff said, he will be reporting by day to the RIC to continue his rehab. A lift has been installed on the stairs at Kirk’s home at Ft. Sheridan in Highland Park.

“We are happy to say that after suffering a stroke in January, Mark has progressed to the point where he can move home with his family,” according to a statement from his relatives, including his mother and his sisters. “He will continue to work on his recovery as an out-patient at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. He has begun a rigorous walking study program to further his mobility and independence while maintaining his schedule with staff.”

The statement continued: “We are grateful for the wonderful doctors and personnel at the RIC for their care of Mark, and to the residents of Illinois who have given him privacy and time to heal. We also thank everyone who has shared their prayers and wishes for his return to the U.S. Senate as soon as possible.”

Doctors at Northwestern Memorial Hospital initially warned that Kirk might have permanent paralysis of his left limbs and face as well as slurred speech. But he has thrown himself into his rehab and has walked more than 10 miles in the three months he has been at RIC.

His rehab includes walking, getting in and out of vehicles, walking on uneven surfaces and climbing stairs.

His doctors and visitors say he appears mentally sharp and engaged and closely follows developments in politics and government.