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“His speech was very clear. On very rare occasions, when he stuttered it was negligible,” Francisco said. “I heard it probably only because I was listening for it.”

Strokes can damage parts of the brain affecting mood, and the stress of relearning simple tasks and adjusting to stroke-caused impairments also can lead to depression. Asked about that possibility, Francisco said depression is much more common when a stroke damages the front left part of the brain. Kirk’s stroke blocked blood flow to the right side of his brain.

Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, and each year, about 795,000 Americans suffer a stroke. Some strokes are caused by bleeding in the brain, but most are caused by blocked blood flow, like Kirk’s stroke.

“I released this video to make sure that people know what my condition is, to be an example to other Illinois families,” Kirk says on the video. “I want to thank the people of Illinois for their patience with this patient to recover from a big stroke.”

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Online:

Kirk video: http://bit.ly/NuuErR