5 months ago by Denise Donley
Kirk suffered a stroke in 2012
U.S. Senator from Illinois Mark Kirk toured the Blessing Hospital Stroke unit Monday, shedding light on how important urgent care is regarding strokes.
Kirk suffered a stroke in January of 2012. Since then, he has learned how to read and walk again with the help of highly trained rehabilitation centers.
“I want to make sure that Quincy residents have outstanding stroke care without having to drive to St. Louis,” said Kirk. “I went through a stroke. I know exactly how critical time is; it’s like the difference between life and death for a lot of people.”
Kirk advised Tri-state residents to not overlook stroke symptoms such as pain in the head or loss of function on one side or the other.
“We talk about the typical farmer attitude. When they have pain, they may say ‘Oh, I’ll just ride this out.’. That’s the wrong move,” said Kirk. “At that point, some critical damage can be done to your brain if you don’t quickly get to Blessing Hospital.”
Learning how to walk and read again was the most difficult for Kirk. He still goes to rehab up to seven hours each week, but he said he doesn’t let the stroke get him down.
“For me, it’s just to serve the people of Illinois,” said Kirk. “Unless you get back in the trenches, you can’t serve them.”