WASHINGTON DC - Just before noon Thursday, Illinois' junior US Senator Mark Kirk will return to his job with a dramatic entrance - climbing the Capitol's 45 steps to the Senate door. Kirk suffered an ischemic stroke in January 2012, and has spent the last 10 months learning to walk again.
While recovering in Chicago from the stroke-induced paralysis on his left side, Kirk was unable to cast votes, but he remained involved by signing onto US Senate resolutions and letters with his Senate colleagues. He directed his DC staff via phone and email, and held meetings in his home with other Congress members.
In November, he climbed 37 floors in Chicago's 103-floor Willis Center while participating in a Chicago Rehabilitation Center fundraiser.