United States Senator Mark Kirk is in intensive care after suffering from a stroke. Kirk, 52, underwent surgery to relieve swelling on his brain from a stroke doctors say would make it difficult for him to regain movement in his left arm, according to CNN reports. He could also suffer from facial paralysis as a result. Kirk checked himself into a Lake Forest, Illinois, hospital on Saturday.
"He was transferred to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, where further tests revealed that he had suffered an ischemic stroke," a spokesperson for the the Senator said in a statement.
His surgeon is hopeful his cognitive functioning will remain intact, according to Reuters.
Kirk was a five-term member of the U.S. House of Representatives before he won an election in 2010 to take President Barack Obama's former Senate seat.
According to Reuters, had it happened on the left side of his brain, surgeon Dr. Richard Fessler said, "it would have affected his ability to speak, understand, and think. So we're very hopeful that when we get through his recovery, all of those functions will be intact."
Kirk, a native of Champaign, Illinois, was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2000, beating Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, a Democrat, for the Senate seat, according to Reuters. He is viewed as a moderate Republican.