Dick Cheney Recovering After Heart Transplant – Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney is recovering from a heart transplant in the intensive care unit of Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church. The 71-year old political figure had a transplant on Saturday morning after tackling heart issues for the past twenty five years. Cheney received the organ from an anonymous donor after waiting 20 months on the transplant list.
Dick Cheney had suffered from five heart attacks in the past thirty-five years and was under constant medical observation. He had to wait for over two years for his new heart after the doctors decided that he needed a transplant.
Cheney’s aide Kara Ahern reported that Cheney and his family do not identify the donor of the heart, but will be forever grateful for his/her priceless lifesaving gift. After suffering from his first cardiac attack in the late 1970s Cheney suffered four more; the most recent one in 2010, after which he had a left ventricular assist device surgically inserted in his heart to ease blood flow. The device was a temporary therapy and Cheney was destined to eventually receive an implant.
In 2010 Cheney’s doctors announced after the installation of his left ventricular assist device that he is not a good candidate for heart transplant, the reason being his age. Doctors generally vote against donating hearts to old candidates and prefer younger ones because of the scarcity of the organ.
However the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute said in its statement that most transplants are done before 70 and there is no law for upper age limits on heart transplants.
After getting the left ventricular assist device Dick Cheney grew thinner and weaker; in a 2011 statement he said he will think about receiving a heart transplant and decide after consideration.
Former U.S. President George W. Bush, under whom Dick Cheney served as Vice President, expressed happiness at the news of Cheney’s post transplant recovery. He said that him and Mrs.Bush are keeping Cheney in their prayers for a speedy recovery.
According to National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the survival rate in the first year of transplant is 88% whereas in the next five years it is 75%.