Former Vice President of the United Statesis recovering in a hospital after he underwent a heart transplant surgery on Saturday. The 71-year-old, who has fought a long hard battle with heart disease, received a heart from an anonymous donor.
According to reports, Dick Cheney is recovering in the Intensive Care Unit of Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Virginia, outside of Washington, D.C. His aide, Kara Ahern, said in a written statement: "Although the former Vice President and his family do not know the identity of the donor, they will be forever grateful for this lifesaving gift." Ahern declined to reveal further information about his condition.
Dick Cheney, who worked as vice president in theadministration, suffered his first heart attack at the age of 37 and underwent quadruple bypass surgery in 1988. His fifth cardiac arrest came in 2010 and that same year he had surgery to have a “left ventricular assist device” (LVAD) installed to help his heart pump blood across the body. He has been on the waiting list for a transplant for more than 20 months.
The LVAD helped Dick Cheney stay alive in the face of what he acknowledged was ‘‘increasing congestive heart failure.’’ In January 2011, Dick Cheney said that he was trying to get used to the battery-powered heart pump, which made it ‘‘awkward to walk around.’’
"I've gotten used to the various contraptions that are always with me, and I'm working and traveling, I've hunted a time or two, and I have some fishing planned,” he wrote in his memoir. He added that he would ‘‘have to make a decision at some point whether I want to go for a transplant.’’
Since his first heart attack, Dick Cheney suffered several major health scares. He also had two artery-clearing angioplasties and the operation in 2001 to implant a pacemaker, a device that monitored his heartbeat.
Dick Cheney served as vice president for eight years, from 2001 until 2009. His book released last year, "In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir," criticized members of the George W. Bush administration including then secretary of state Colin Powell.
Despite his persistent health problems, Dick Cheney had a long political career in which he served in Congress, the White House and as defense secretary. He gained fame after getting elected as Vice President of the United States and has remained a key Republican figure since leaving office.