Former vice-president Dick Cheney had a heart transplant on Saturday and is recovering at a Virginia hospital, his office has said.
aide to Cheney disclosed that the 71-year-old, who has had a long
history of cardiovascular trouble including numerous heart attacks, had
been waiting for a transplant for more than 20 months.
the former vice-president and his family do not know the identity of the
donor, they will be forever grateful for this lifesaving gift," aide
Kara Ahern said in a written statement that was authenticated by several
of the Republican politician's close associates.
recovering on Saturday night at the intensive care unit of Inova Fairfax
hospital in Virginia after surgery earlier in the day.
vice-president suffered a heart attack in 2010, his fifth since the age
of 37. That year, he had surgery to have a small pump installed to help
his heart keep working. It was one of the few steps left, short of a
transplant, to stay alive in the face of what he acknowledged was
"increasing congestive heart failure".
The pump, called a left
ventricular assist device, is mainly used for short periods to buy time
for potential transplant candidates awaiting a donor organ. The fact
that doctors resorted to it illustrated the perilous condition he was
In July 2007, he had a minor surgical procedure to replace a
device that monitored his heartbeat. Nearly 20 years earlier, in 1988,
Cheney had a quadruple bypass surgery.
In 2005, Cheney had six
hours of surgery on his legs to repair a kind of aneurysm, and in March
2007, doctors discovered deep vein thrombosis in his left lower leg. An
ultrasound a month later showed the clot was getting smaller.
January 2011, Cheney said he was getting by on a battery-powered heart
pump, which made it "awkward to walk around". He also said he hasn't
made a decision yet on a transplant, but that "the technology is getting
better and better".
Cheney said then that he'd "have to make a decision at some point whether I want to go for a transplant".He
served as former president George W. Bush's vice-president for eight
years, from 2001 until 2009. He was a lightning rod for criticism during
Bush's presidency, accused by opponents of often advocating a
belligerent US stance in world affairs during wars in Iraq and
Source: AP via The Guardian.co.uk