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Cheney leaves hospital after transplant

Wed., April 4, 2012, midnight

WASHINGTON – Former Vice President Dick Cheney was released from the hospital Tuesday, 10 days after getting a new heart, his office said.

Cheney, 71, received the organ from an unknown donor on March 24 at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va.

“As he leaves the hospital, the former vice president and his family want to again express their deep gratitude to the donor and the donor’s family for this remarkable gift,” aide Kara Ahern said in a statement.

Cheney waited nearly two years for the transplant.

His lifelong history of heart disease includes five heart attacks, the first at age 37 and the most recent one in 2010.

According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, 332 people over age 65 received new hearts last year. The majority of transplants occur in 50- to 64-year-olds.

Cheney’s surgery led some to question whether he was too old to be given a new heart.

The odds of survival are good. More than 70 percent of heart transplant patients live at least five years, although survival is a bit lower for people over 65.


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