A terrific little scoop by ABC. Apparently, he’s already out of bed and able to sit in a chair. Amazing.
He got the call that a donor heart would soon be available just after midnight on Saturday morning. By 5 p.m. that afternoon, the procedure was done.
“The surgery went flawlessly,” Dr. Reiner told ABC News. “It exceeded expectations.”…
“The organ has functioned terrifically. There can still be challenges, but so far, so good,” Dr. Reiner said. “So far so very good.”
If recovery continues without significant setback, Dr. Reiner says Cheney’s prognosis is “excellent” and that he could live “many, many years” with his new heart.
“If you ask is it reasonable for a patient, like this patient, to consider 10 years, yes, I think that’s reasonable,” Dr. Reiner said. “And good quality life.”
He made it “explicitly clear” to his doctors that he wanted no preferential treatment on the waiting list. (According to them, that’s impossible anyway.) Read this piece too noting that it’s relatively rare but not unheard of anymore for patients of Cheney’s age (71) to receive transplants, although there are still some hospitals that won’t do them for people over 65. No one’s quite sure why he waited more than a year and a half for the transplant, but it may have to do with his health having improved over time thanks to his “heart mate” device to the point where the surgery became viable for him whereas it hadn’t been before. In fact, according to one doctor interviewed by ABC, it’s precisely because he’s had so many heart surgeries that his recovery from this one could be relatively easy. I don’t quite grasp the science of that — as he gets older and endures more surgical trauma, you’d think he’d be progressively weakened — but it’s good news, needless to say.
Here he is last year talking about his “heart mate.”