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This just in… Stroger’s stroke more serious than first thought

Friday, Mar 17, 2006

Late news from the Tribune:

The latest tests on Cook County Board President John Stroger show he had a more serious stroke earlier this week than was initially thought, his doctors said today.

Doctors said there was likely to be some permanent damage from the stroke, but it was too soon to say how much. The stroke, which occurred early Tuesday, left Stroger weak on his left side and unable to walk.

“We feel this is a serious stroke, one that is going to have some effect on him,” said Dr. Michael Kelly, the neurologist treating Stroger at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, where Stroger remains in the intensive care unit.

Doctors this afternoon said they remained optimistic about Stroger’s recovery. But when asked whether he would be able to return to the demanding job of running county government, Kelly said it was too soon to say.

The county board president has a blockage in his brain, and swelling is affecting a large area of his brain, doctors said. The result, they say, could be long-term mental or physical impairment.

But the physicians emphasized Stroger was still being evaluated, and it was too soon to determine what the long-term effects would be. They said he was breathing on his own but was being fed through a tube.

Throughout his illness, Stroger has been able to speak with doctors and his family.

UPDATE: The Sun-Times:

Simon described Stroger’s demeanor on Friday as drowsy but responsive. He spoke in some short phrases, including a “thank you” to his niece for visiting, according to Simon.

Doctors initially had hoped recovery for the county board president to take place within 20 to 30 days, but now did not expect that to happen, Simon said.

“The key thing is it’s more serious than we thought, but we’re still hopeful that we have a good recovery,” the doctor said.

He did not expect to give further updates on Stroger’s condition until sometime next week.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Establishment Republican - Friday, Mar 17, 06 @ 5:31 pm:

    Politics aside, my thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.

    Also, with the family of Ray Meyer who passed away today. May he Rest in Peace.

  2. - Carl Nyberg - Friday, Mar 17, 06 @ 5:53 pm:

    I’m shocked.

    A 74 year old man has a stroke and it’s more serious than a one-day stay in the hospital.

  3. - Just Observing - Friday, Mar 17, 06 @ 6:15 pm:

    Clearly, it has always been worse than what the Stroger camp is reporting — you can’t blame them foro trying to portray that Stroger is ready to run the county in a week, but this is total bulls%*t. I was shocked today when the news was reporting that “Stroger wants to leave the hospital but his doctors won’t let him.” What crap… the news media is horrendous, simply reporting what the Stroger camp shoves down their throats as fact. I sincerely wish the best for Stroger and wish him a full and speedy recovery, but this is unlikely. Admittedly I was a Claypool supporter prior to the stroke, and remain so… stroke or no stroke Stroger must go.

  4. - mr. anon - Friday, Mar 17, 06 @ 6:18 pm:

    Too bad no one asked the doctors were not asked if Stroge could still do a better job than Nerd Boy Forest.
    They woould have been forced to say “yes”

  5. - SenorAnon - Friday, Mar 17, 06 @ 6:51 pm:

    Like a school on saturday, Mr. Anon…

  6. - Jimmy P. - Friday, Mar 17, 06 @ 7:51 pm:

    Spin this whichever way you want but, after today`s news, it appears obvious that John Stroger will not be chairing anymore County Board meetings. The President is seriously ill and he`ll be happy if he can return to his 8th Ward domicile and retire comfortably. I believe the County Bd. President also has a few vacation homes he can frequent in his retirement?

    Unfortunately this whole Claypool-Stroger issue has become inextricably tied up with racial politics. Once you extract the racial component, it`s pretty clear a vote for Stroger on Tuesday is a vote to allow the top political honchos in Cook County to select the next Bd. President and democracy be damned!

  7. - Levois - Friday, Mar 17, 06 @ 8:26 pm:

    I would like to wish Stroger a speedy recovery.

  8. - Not Tellin - Friday, Mar 17, 06 @ 8:53 pm:

    this will only make the precinct captains work harder for stroger. if he’s really finished, they get to chose a replacement if he wins.

  9. - sage - Friday, Mar 17, 06 @ 9:18 pm:

    Mr. Stroger is as likely to recover and be an active county board chairman as much as Ariel Sharon will recover and become an active Prime Minister of Israel again. Some people just don’t want to face reality.

  10. - Mr. Anon - Friday, Mar 17, 06 @ 11:16 pm:

    Dear Sage:
    Reality is Forest still comes in #2!

  11. - Schiznitz - Saturday, Mar 18, 06 @ 2:28 am:

    Is John Daley the next County Board President? Thank God for Peter Fitzgerald.

  12. - Wumpus - Saturday, Mar 18, 06 @ 8:18 am:

    If Stroger wins, people are dumber than I thought! I hope he is okay, but the man is apparently in no shape to be in charge of Crook COunty Goverment.

  13. - Cassandra - Saturday, Mar 18, 06 @ 8:20 am:

    Stroger’s illness will no doubt bring the Democratic Machine out in force to ensure that they get to pick the Board chairperson when Stroger retires after he wins, which seems likely. Stroger will no doubt get more votes than he would have had he not become ill. This is not good news for Cook County residents. It’s not good news for the kids in the Audy Home either. Stroger’s Democratic replacement is likely to be a corrupt hack selected Daley, Emmanuel and other powerful Democratic politicians. And for those who feel Cook County government lacks diversity, I would note that the appointee is unlikely to be a minority either.

  14. - Marta Elena - Saturday, Mar 18, 06 @ 8:29 am:


    You make an excellent point about the STroger supporters and their likelihood of increaesed motivation to get the vote out.

    I hope Claypool wins. BTW, there are a number of black folks going to vote for Claypool. For them, its not a black or white issue - but its an issue of reform in cook county government.

  15. - reagandude - Saturday, Mar 18, 06 @ 8:53 am:

    Even though I’m a conservative-republican, I don’t like to see anyone as sick as what Stroger is, I wish him well. On the other hand, If Stroger pulls through this stroke and is able to run county government through November, this is what we need, the one true reformer will win, Tony Peracia. Its been a long time since we’ve had someone clean running county government, I’m not knocking Claypool, but I’m thinking the way to lower property taxes for all countywide is Tony Peracia.

  16. - Truthful James - Saturday, Mar 18, 06 @ 10:26 am:

    My Thursday morning comment still applies

    “…I wish John Stroger good health. But, whether he lives or dies, the Great Democrat Machine could care less. They will extract the precinct vote and elect John and/or appoint a replacement in the General Election. Someone trustworthy and loyal to the machine. Not Mr. Claypool…”

    And probably not John Daley, Now Bill Daley could run the County better than most.

    But possibly Roland Burris.

  17. - Political Prognosticator - Saturday, Mar 18, 06 @ 11:09 am:

    I think Roland Burris would be a great choice. He’s been a good leader for a lot of years. But I think I’d rather have Claypool.

  18. - Schiznitz - Saturday, Mar 18, 06 @ 11:26 am:

    The man is almost 80 years old. Sure, its not a good thing, but not unexpected. He has been in terrible health for years. Life has a way of unfolding the way it should. If Fitzgerald doesn’t get him, old man time will. Life happens.

  19. - Truthful James - Saturday, Mar 18, 06 @ 11:28 am:

    Seems to me, from a long distance from the infray, that Roland would keep the position in the right hands. If Claypool wins, of course, all bets are off.

    Given the level of investigations up and down the pike, whoever is chosen will have to have a strong IG. (Is their such a position? if not their should be.) to beat the reformers to reform. There will be some jettisoning to be done.

  20. - Navin Johnson - Saturday, Mar 18, 06 @ 1:28 pm:

    Truthful James,

    There is an Inspector General at Cook County, but he is rarely seen or heard. They need to get a qualified person to hold the job.

    After Daley kept getting hammered for his ineffective IG he finally relented, fired the old one and recently put in Dave Hoffman who was heartily endorsed by U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald.

    In addition, the ordinance authorizing the IG needs to be upgraded to give the IG more power and more independance.

    If Stroger wins, but pulls out before the General in November, look out for Houlihan. Although he is a machine pol, he has most of the reformers, editorial pages and goo-goos fooled that he an independant progressive. In addition, look at the balance in his campaign fund ($1.4 million), that can buy a lot of popularity awfully quickly.

  21. - Neutral Commentator - Saturday, Mar 18, 06 @ 1:41 pm:

    Having no horse in this race, D or R, it seems that some folks here are missing some obvious points.

    If the African-American community comes out big and anchors a win for Stroger, the Machine will be hard pressed to replace Stroger with someone other than an African-American. If a white were to be selected, black outrage would be such that Daley’s chances against Jackson would be severely diminished. It is more important to the Machine to keep Daley in office; Cook President is clearly a subordinate position.

    Two possible Machine-endorsed replacements would be either Langdon Neal, Chairman of the Chicago Board of Elections, or Judge Timothy Evans, Chief Judge of the Cook County Circuit Court. Aside from being attractive, accomplished, and well-spoken African-American officials, each has strong roots within the African-American community, both culturally and politically, while each has a proven record of playing ball with the Democratic establishment. Evans in particular, who was a Harold Washington-faction alderman and who has served the Daley interests as chief judge almost perfectly. Most importantly, either man would blunt the ascendancy of either Jackson or Meeks.

    Assume Houlihan or others will make strong plays for appointment to the Presidency, but they will have to be bought off with other promises.

  22. - Nearly Normal - Saturday, Mar 18, 06 @ 2:21 pm:

    I think the Fitzgerald you want is Patrick not Peter. Patrick is the federal prosecutor whereas Peter is the former senator.

    This should be a very interesting election. I have no stake in it coming from downstate McLean County. Cook Countians–vote early and often.

  23. - SenorAnon - Saturday, Mar 18, 06 @ 6:20 pm:

    Neutral, your first point is exactly where I was going.

    There is NO WAY, if Stroger wins on Tuesday and retires they pick a white guy. It would absolutely be the spark of a firestorm that would turn the potential for marginal challenges in the 07 Chicago elections into a bonafide race for Daley.

    No doubt it would be a “company guy.” But almost assuredly an African American company guy.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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