Sen. Kirk recovering from stroke

As Illinois Senator Mark Kirk begins his recovery from a stroke, his staff and colleagues are stepping up to ensure the Illinois Republican leader's interests are addressed.

Kirk suffered a stroke over the weekend, and had surgery that included removing a portion of his skull to relieve pressure from swelling. Click here for our original story.

Kirk's neurosurgeon said Monday the 52-year-old first-term senator has a good chance of a full cognitive recovery but warned that it would be "very difficult" for him to regain movement in his left arm.

Jim Whitfield is talking to Kathy Jochem who is a member of the stroke team at Blessing Hospital in Quincy to find out what the warning signs are for a stroke and also finding out that there are different kinds of strokes that can happen to someone.

Jochem said the acronym of FAST can be a big help for people who think they are suffering from a stroke. FAST stands for face, arms, speech and time.

When you let FAST be your guide, check the face for paralysis on one side or the other. Ask the person to lift their arms and it one arm droops that could be a sign the person is suffering a stroke. And if their speech is slightly slurred or if they can't repeat a simple phrase, another sign to get them to the hospital as soon as possible.

"And it's very important to get to the hospital as soon as possible to be evaluated. If you have these symptoms develop suddenly without a known cause, you need to be at the hospital and get evaluated," said Jochem.

You can also visit and the Blessing website for more details and information on the warning signs of a stroke and also tips for possibly preventing a stroke.