When Time magazine asked Sen Mark Kirk (R-Ill) to share what he was thankful for, he came right to the point. "I am thankful for the more than 300,000 physical and occupational therapists in the U.S.," he wrote, adding that without these professionals "there is no way I could have returned to the U.S. Senate … after I suffered a massive stroke in January 2012."
The statement from Kirk appeared in the November 25 issue of the magazine, which asked several public figures "to share what they're grateful for." Kirk described how he recovered from the ischemic stroke he suffered less than a year ago thanks to the work of his rehabilitation team, and how his experiences inspired him to introduce a "Stroke Agenda" that seeks legislative changes to enhance stroke research and rehabilitation access. APTA has worked with Sen Kirk to advance these efforts, and supported his introduction of the Rehabilitation Improvement Act (S 1027) targeted at advancing rehabilitation research within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Sen Tim Johnson (D-NM) introduced the bill with Kirk.
"Having a stroke shouldn't mean the end of a productive life," Kirk wrote. "Physical and occupational therapists make a major difference in countless Americans' lives, including the life of this U.S. senator."
Sen Kirk's return to the U.S. Senate was documented in an NBC video, and photos of Kirk in rehabilitation are available at the Huffington Post.
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