Good wishes to Vice President Cheney for a full recovery, after receiving a transplanted heart over the weekend. He is one of the millions of beneficiaries of the tremendous advances in heart care since 1981, when my father died during heart surgery, and a few years after the former Vice President had his first of 5 heart attacks at age 37.
Here are key facts about Cheney's transplant:
1. Cheney was on the heart transplant waiting list for 20 months.
2. Cheney took the first heart offered to him.
3. The average wait for a heart is 9 months so Cheney clearly did not receive preferential treatment in receiving a heart.
4. The one-year survival rate for someone receiving a heart who is over 65 is 84%. Cheney is 71.
5. The odds are favorable for the Vice President to have a life expectancy of 10 years.
Vice President Cheney has had 4 major heart procedures, including the heart transplant, as well as advanced medications. His life has been extended and enriched as a result.
For those who have full access to America's medical treatments, miracles can and do happen.