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March 24. 2012 7:11PM

Former VP Cheney recovering after heart transplant

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is recovering in a Virginia hospital after undergoing a heart transplant on Saturday, a spokeswoman for Cheney said in an email.

Cheney, 71, who served as vice president in the George W. Bush administration, has had a long history of heart trouble.

The spokeswoman said Cheney was recovering in the intensive care unit of Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Virginia, a suburb of Washington.

The statement said Cheney and his family do not know the identity of the donor, but "they will be forever grateful for this lifesaving gift."

Cheney, who has suffered several heart attacks, the first at age 37, had a device implanted in 2010 to assist his heart.

During Cheney's eight years as vice president from 2001-2009, he wielded unprecedented power and pushed a "go it alone" world view that enraged his critics and dogged him long after he left public life.

Text of the statement

Following is a statement by Kara Ahern, a spokeswoman for former Vice President Dick Cheney, announcing that he has undergone heart transplant surgery.

"Former Vice President Dick Cheney is recovering in the Intensive Care Unit of Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, VA after undergoing heart transplant surgery on Saturday, March 24, 2012. In 2010, Mr. Cheney had a Left Ventricular Assist Device implanted for treatment of end stage heart failure. The former Vice President has been on the cardiac transplant list for more than 20 months.

"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.

"Former Vice President Cheney is thankful to the teams of doctors and other medical professionals at Inova Fairfax and George Washington University Hospital for their continued outstanding care."

(Reporting By Eric Beech; Editing and Reporting by Xavier Briand)


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