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Dick Cheney Has Heart Transplant

Former VP recuperating from surgery today
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 24, 2012 6:57 PM CDT

(Newser) – Dick Cheney had a heart transplant today and is recovering at a Virginia hospital, his office said. An aide to Cheney disclosed that the 71-year-old, who has had a long history of cardiovascular trouble, had been waiting for a transplant for more than 20 months. Cheney was recovering at the Intensive Care Unit of Inova Fairfax Hospital in Virginia after surgery earlier in the day.

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"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," aide Kara Ahern said in a written statement. The former 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." (Read more Dick Cheney stories.)

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