For Mark Kirk, there was no white light, no tunnel.
What Illinois’ junior U.S. senator experienced was three angels standing at the foot of his bed.
“You want to come with us?” Kirk was asked.
“No,” he told them. “I’ll hold off.”
The Highland Park Republican, who plans to return to the Senate when Congress convenes Thursday, recounted the story in his first in-depth interview since he suffered a massive stroke nearly a year ago.
Awakening from what he says might have been a dream, a side effect of medication or a near-death experience, Kirk found himself lying in a hospital bed in Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, hooked up to monitors and tubes.
He had no way of immediately knowing what had transpired in the days after he suffered an ischemic stroke on Jan. 21, 2012; that doctors had put him in a coma and performed several surgeries, temporarily removing a 4-by-8 inch portion of skull to allow his brain to swell and heal.
What Kirk did know was how close he had been to death.
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