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Sen. Mark Kirk recovering after stroke, surgery

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Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Illinois). (WJBC)

Sen. Mark Kirk, Republican of Illinois, is recovering from "successful" surgery after suffering a stroke Saturday, his Senate office said Monday. Doctors are hopeful about his prognosis.

Kirk, 52, underwent surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital Sunday to "relieve swelling around his brain," the Courier News/Chicago Sun-Times reported Monday.

Kirk drove himself to the hospital Saturday after the incident. He had been at home in Highland Park, Ill., where the divorced lawmaker lives.

Kirk experienced a stroke "to the right side of his brain," a Northwestern Medical Center surgeon told the Courier News. "What that means is it will affect his ability to move his left arm and possibly his left leg." His speech should not be affected.

"We're very hopeful . . . he should be able to do very well," the surgeon added.

Kirk, a former House representative from Illinois, is a leading Republican Senate voice on foreign policy issues.

A bill he championed to sanction Iran's Central Bank passed 100-to-0 in the Senate late last year and was signed into law by President Obama earlier this month.

Sen. John McCain, a close Kirk ally on the Senate Armed Services Committee, was among the members of Congress who wished their colleague a speedy recovery.

"My thoughts and prayers are with @SenatorKirk today," McCain said in a tweet Monday, while on a trip to Burma.

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