Family says Kirk's spirit is 'stronger than ever'

SPRINGFIELD — U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk Friday was transferred from Northwestern Memorial Hospital to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, where he'll continue his recovery from the effects of a stroke last month.

“RIC's team of experts will spend the next few days assessing Senator Kirk's condition and developing a comprehensive, targeted rehabilitation program tailored to achieve the goals that will be established by Senator Kirk and his family,” Dr. Richard L. Harvey, Medical Director of RIC's Center for Stroke Rehabilitation, said in a statement.

“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 said.

Kirk has undergone two surgeries to relieve swelling of his brain after suffering a stroke last month. The first was to remove a large section of his skull. The second removed two small pieces of tissue from Kirk's brain.

Just this week, doctors at Northwestern replaced the removed section of Kirk's skull.

The Highland Park Republican's family released a statement through his government office praising Northwestern doctors.

“We want to extend our deepest gratitude to the incredible team at Northwestern Memorial for all they have done for Mark,” the statement 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,” the statement continues. “Mark's drive and spirit are stronger than ever and we know he will give 110 percent in the days ahead.”

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