CTU President Karen Lewis in hospital recovering from stroke

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis suffered from a stroke last week and is in the hospital recovering.

Lewis went to see her doctor last Thursday because she wasn't feeling well. She was diagnosed with a minor stroke, and has lost some movement on her left side. Lewis' recovery will include some physical therapy.

Lewis was diagnosed with a brain tumor three years ago and has since been in recovery. She said this stroke is a "minor setback."

"I suffered a slight stroke last week and have since been hospitalized. It was so minor that doctors could barely see it upon my initial examination, so please know that my spirits are high and I am feeling pretty good," Lewis said. "This is a minor setback in my recovery from brain cancer, but rest assured I will be back on my feet soon."

Lewis was elected CTU president seven years ago. The former high school chemistry teacher is known among union members and friends for not giving up. It was Lewis who encouraged Sue Sadlowski Garza, a teacher at the time, to run for city council. Garza, the alderman of the 10th ward, is very close with Lewis.

"She's comes out swinging single every time and she's never given up fighting for what is fair and just," said Garza.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel spoke with Lewis Tuesday morning and sent her some matzo ball soup.

"She sounds strong and I said we need to get you back on the field stay focused, I hope you recover soon," Emanuel said.

Lewis was ready to run against Emanuel for mayor until she was diagnosed with cancer. Emanuel said the two are now friends out of mutual respect.

"I have much respect for Karen's passion for the city, children and people she represents, I don't want to speak for her, but I think it's mutually received the other way," Emanuel said.

Lewis said she is thankful for all the support she has received.

"Thanks to everyone who has sent prayers and wishes for a speedy recovery. My only request is that we refrain from talking policy and politics until I am back up to speed. Once I return to 100 percent good health, I'll be back to giving hell to the usual suspects-you know who you are."
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