Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) is doing “very well,” according to his Chicago-based doctor, just one day after undergoing emergency surgery to relieve pressure on his brain caused by a major stroke.
Kirk, 52, is likely to remain in the intensive care unit at Northwestern Memorial Hospital for five to seven more days, according to local media reports of a press conference with Dr. Richard Fessler, the Senator’s neurosurgeon.
Kirk, who had been in good health, admitted himself to a suburban hospital Saturday before being transferred to the city hospital for the surgery, in which a 4-inch-by-8-inch piece of his skull was temporarily removed to account for swelling of the brain.
Fessler told reporters in Chicago today that Kirk is breathing on his own and talking, adding that the Senator “asked for his BlackBerry,” a gentle but teasing nod to Kirk’s desire to get back to work.
Kirk’s cognitive and mental prognosis is good, according to doctors, because of the location of his stroke. The freshman Republican’s physical prognosis, however, is still unclear. Despite an overall positive report, Fessler repeated his previous assertions that Kirk’s physical capabilities, especially on his left side, could be seriously affected by his condition.
The doctor also noted the Senator is still suffering from slight facial paralysis, according to the reports of his comments.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.