Sen. Kirk upgraded to ‘fair’ condition

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“Senator Kirk’s recovery is continuing. He is alert, talking and responding well to questions. He has been upgraded to fair condition and we are very pleased with his progress,” said Richard Fessler, Kirk’s neurosurgeon.

Kirk, who was upgraded from “serious” condition, remains in intensive care.

Last week doctors removed a four-inch by eight-inch section of Kirk’s skull to release pressure from swelling, and removed some dead brain tissue in a follow-up procedure.

Kirk is 52 and was in otherwise good health when the stroke hit.

Fessler has said that Kirk stands a good chance at a full mental recovery, but that some physical impairments — including limited use of the limbs on the left side of his body, partial facial paralysis, and slurred speech — could remain.

This weekend, Kirk’s close friend Sen. Joe Manchin (R-W.Va.) visited him in the hospital and brought work in from his office, according to a report from Patch.com in Grayslake, Illinois.

“I brought him some work to get done, some proposals to look at and some of the political magazines that have all the news in Washington,” Manchin said. “I brought all the love and best wishes of the Senate to Mark and his family, including cards with good wishes from his colleagues.”

Manchin reported that Kirk was talking, laughing and asking about work.