Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) has been upgraded to “fair” condition as he continues to recover from a major stroke.
Kirk, 52, suffered a stroke Jan. 21 as a result of a torn carotid artery, and since then, he has undergone two surgeries to relieve swelling on the brain. The Illinois Republican is “alert, talking and responding well to questions,” according to a statement by Dr. Richard Fessler, Kirk’s neurosurgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
“Sen. Kirk’s recovery is continuing,” Fessler said. “He is alert, talking and responding well to questions. He has been upgraded to fair condition, and we are very pleased with his progress.”
Doctors have said from the onset that Kirk likely would regain full mental and language skills, but his physical prognosis is unclear, with the possibility of permanent damage to the left side of his body.
The statement did not indicate when Kirk will be released from the hospital.
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.