“For us in the stroke fraternity, we’re very happy to see this occur, to see somebody taking their life back,” Watson said. “There are so many people who don’t make it back.”
Kirk, who won President Barack Obama’s former Senate seat in 2010, checked himself into a hospital in January 2012 after feeling dizzy. Tests revealed that the avid swimmer had suffered a major stroke. Surgeons had to remove two small pieces of destroyed brain tissue, and temporarily removed a 4-inch by 8-inch portion of his skull to allow for swelling.
Doctors said movement in Kirk’s left side was severely limited. He was in intensive care and would need speech therapy, but they expected he would make a full mental recovery.