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Senator Kirk's rehabilitation timeline

Senator Kirk's Care and Recovery

  • Sen. Kirk was treated on RIC’s 9th floor Patient Recovery Unit and AbilityLab™. Only patients who (1) have the kind of injury that responds to aggressive treatments and (2) are medically stable enough to participate in the rigorous, intense therapies are admitted to this specialized unit.
  • Rehabilitation in RIC’s new 9th floor’s AbilityLab is dramatically more rigorous. For instance, the national average # of steps taken in a standard, one-hour physical therapy session is 300-400 steps. (Lang 20009)[1]  However, the average number of steps taken in one hour of physical therapy in RIC’s AbilityLab™ is 3,000-4,000 steps (Moore et al 2010)[2].
  • After an intensive inpatient stay of three months, Sen. Kirk enrolled in a randomized, controlled, single-blinded clinical trial on the effects of large doses of high intensity walking performed on a treadmill, over-ground and on stairs. He also received outpatient therapies at RIC’s flagship hospital several times a week.
  • After the gait trial ended in May, Sen. Kirk continued with his recovery in RIC’s DayRehabilitation Center® in Wheeling receiving multiple, intense therapies and return-to-work therapies and support.

Rehabilitation Timeline

February 10, 2012

Sen. Kirk is transferred to RIC to begin his inpatient rehabilitation on RIC’s brand new Patient Recovery Unit and AbilityLab™ which opened January 2012.

March 31, 2012 Sen. Kirk began walking without the support of a harness system.
April 27, 2012

Showing steadfast progress in his recovery, Kirk was discharged from inpatient care having walked more than 10 miles during physical therapy since arrival.

April 30, 2012

Sen. Kirk enrolled in a one-of-a-kind gait trial based on the theory that taking steps in a number of ways including over ground, on a treadmill and over stairs at a high intensity would bring better balance, endurance and better ability for community walking.

July 16, 2012

Sen. Kirk’s gait trial ended; he began multiple intensive therapies at RIC’s DayRehabilitation Center in Wheeling.

December 14, 2012

Sen. Kirk is discharged from RIC’s care.


[1] Lang CE, MacDonald JR, Reisman DS, Boyd L, Kimberley TJ, Schindler-Ivens SM, Hornby TG, Ross SA, Scheets PL. Observation of amounts of movement practice provided during stroke rehabilitation. Arch Phys Med Rehabil, 2009. 90(10):1692-8

[2] Moore JL, Roth EJ, Killian C, Hornby TG. Locomotor training improves the amount of daily stepping and gait efficiency in individuals post-stroke who have reached a plateau in recovery during conventional rehabilitation. Stroke.41(1):129-35, 2010. PMID: 19910547