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  • One Year After Stroke, Sen Kirk Climbs Capitol Steps

    On Thursday, Sen Mark Kirk (R-IL) returned to Capitol Hill for the first time since having a stroke in January 2012 that paralyzed the left side of his body. Kirk climbed the steps to the Capitol using a 4-prong cane and assisted by Vice President Joe Biden and Sen Joe Manchin (D-WV) while his colleagues in the 113th Congress cheered.

    Kirk was scheduled to hold a press conference Thursday with physicians and researchers from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and Northwestern Memorial Hospital to discuss the treatment he underwent.

    APTA member Michael Klonowski, PT, DPT, PCS, who was Kirk's primary physical therapist in Chicago, told USA Today that he was "more emotional" than he thought he would be as he watched his former patient make the climb.

    "Seeing what he's done is absolutely inspiring," Klonowski said. "I've seen him go up tons of stairs. ... It was really something to see him do what he did today."

    In an interview published Wednesday in the Chicago Sun-Times  Kirk said that his experience with the health care system has given him a new perspective. He said that he plans to take a look at the Illinois Medicaid program, which he noted allows 11 rehab visits for patients with stroke.

    "Had I been limited to that, I would have had no chance to recover like I did," Kirk said. "So unlike before suffering the stroke, I’m much more focused on Medicaid and what my fellow citizens face."

    Watch this NBC video of Kirk's "45 monumental steps." To view photos of Kirk in rehabilitation, visit the Huffington Post.    


    • I don't know if you saw this but this is an interesting follow up to that. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-01-04/news/ct-met-mark-kirk-health-care-0104-20130104_1_speech-therapy-occupational-therapy-health-insurance

      Posted by Laura OConnor on 1/8/2013 12:49 PM

    • Maybe Senator Kirk can help persuade the rest of his colleagues that physical therapy has real value, that undermining our payment is in nobody's best interest and that significant reductions in visit allowances are harmful. By the way, if his insurance used a 3rd party administrator to oversee the utilization of his care, he might have only made it 15 steps and been left to work on the remaining 30 independently!!

      Posted by Gregory Given -> =HTcEM on 1/9/2013 10:59 PM

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