Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is flying to Chicago on Friday to visit hospitalized Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.).
Manchin and Kirk have become friends since they both joined the Senate. The Chicago Tribune reported that the junior West Virginia senator plans to go and see Kirk, who suffered a stroke over the weekend and underwent surgery Monday.
“I’ve been here for a year,” Manchin said, according to the Tribune. “I haven’t found anybody that’s going to replace Mark Kirk’s attitude, his true, gung-ho Americanism, wanting to continue to be the best country in the world, as we’ve been in the past, and willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen.”
During Tuesday’s State of the Union, Manchin, who was planning to sit next to Kirk in a gesture of bipartisanship, left the seat open in recognition of the Illinois senator.
Kirk’s doctors have reported that his recovery has been going as expected. Dr. Richard Fessler, a neurosurgeon for Kirk at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, said the 52-year-old senator could very well end up with slight motor-function impairment on the left side of his body. His mental abilities will be fine though, Fessler said.
Kirk’s recovery is expected to happen in a matter of weeks or months, Fessler said.