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Former Vice President Dick Cheney undergoes heart transplant

March 24, 2012|By Dalina Castellanos
  • Former Vice President Dick Cheney in 2004. Cheney has suffered five heart attacks, the most recent in 2010. He underwent bypass surgery in 1988 and two subsequent angioplasties to clear narrowed coronary arteries.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney in 2004. Cheney has suffered five heart… (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated…)

Former Vice President Dick Cheney had a heart transplant Saturday, according to a statement released from his office.

Cheney, 71, received the new organ after being on a transplant list for more than 20 months, the Associated Press reported.

Cheney’s office said he was recovering in the intensive care unit of Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va.

Aide Kara Ahern said in the statement that Cheney and his family do not know the heart donor's identity, but "they will be forever grateful for this life-saving gift.”

In an interview with NBC's"Today" show in January 2011, Cheney said he would consider seeking a heart transplant.

"I'll have to make a decision at some point whether or not I want to go for a transplant," he said at the time. "But we haven't addressed that yet."

Cheney has suffered five heart attacks, the most recent in 2010, according to the AP. He underwent bypass surgery in 1988 and two subsequent angioplasties to clear narrowed coronary arteries.

A former heavy smoker, Cheney had a pacemaker implanted in 2001.

Cheney, who served as vice president from 2001 to 2009, canceled a trip to Canada this month, citing safety concerns.

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