Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) was transferred to a Chicago-based rehabilitation center today, less than three weeks after suffering a major stroke.
It was not immediately clear how long Kirk, 52, will need to undergo treatment, but his neurosurgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital indicated at the time of the Senator's stroke that his recovery could take months.
"[Our] team of experts will spend the next few days assessing Sen. Kirk's condition and developing a comprehensive, targeted rehabilitation program tailored to achieve the goals that will be established by Sen. Kirk and his family," said Dr. Richard Harvey, medical director of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago's Center for Stroke Rehabilitation.
"The Senator has several pre-stroke factors in his favor that our research and experience demonstrate will foster a better recovery, including his relative youth, good general health and fitness, strong personal motivation and high intelligence," Harvey added, in a statement.
The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the best rehabilitation hospital in America.
Kirk's original cognitive prognosis after multiple surgeries at Northwestern Memorial Hospital was good, but the Senator's neurosurgeon warned that he could suffer permanent physical damage to his left side.
Kirk's family released a statement expressing thanks for the outpouring of support the Senator has received from both colleagues and constituents as he convalesces.
"We want to extend our deepest gratitude to the incredible team at Northwestern Memorial for all they have done for Mark. Words will never be good enough to express the love and appreciation we feel. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you," the family said. "As Mark begins the next phase in his recovery, we want to thank the thousands of people around the state, the nation and the world who have called, written notes, sent flowers and offered their thoughts and prayers. Mark's drive and spirit are stronger than ever and we know he will give 110 percent in the days ahead."
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.