Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

Cheney undergoes heart transplant

Former US vice president Dick Cheney has been released from hospital 10 days after undergoing a heart transplant.

Mr Cheney, 71, received the organ from an unknown donor on March 24.

He waited nearly two years for the transplant at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Virginia. His lifelong history of heart disease includes five heart attacks, with the first one striking him at age 37 and the most recent one in 2010.

That year, Mr Cheney also had surgery to implant a small pump to help keep his weakened and diseased heart beating. The "left ventricular assist device," or LVAD, helps a person live a fairly normal life while awaiting a heart transplant, although some people receive it as permanent therapy. It was one the few steps left, short of a transplant, to keep him alive in the face of what he had acknowledged was "increasing congestive heart failure."

In January 2011, Mr Cheney said he was getting by on the battery-powered device and had not made a decision on a transplant. But he said he would "have to make a decision at some point whether I want to go for a transplant."

More than 3,100 people are on a US national waiting list to receive a new heart. Just over 2,300 heart transplants were performed last year

Mr Cheney was President George W. Bush's vice president for eight years, beginning in 2001, and was a lightning rod for criticism. Opponents said he often advocated a belligerent US stance in world affairs during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


From Belfast Telegraph