Former VP Cheney has heart transplant - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Former VP Cheney has heart transplant

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKOW) -

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is recovering after undergoing heart transplant surgery at a  Virginia hospital Saturday, according to a statement released by Cheney's office.

His office also said Cheney 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." the statement said.

Cheney has had five heart attacks, the first in 1978 when he was 37 years old, and the fourth in November 2000, after he and former President George W. Bush were elected to the White House.

In 2001, Cheney had a pacemaker installed, and his fifth heart attack was in February 2010.

Cheney underwent surgery in July 2010 to have a heart pump, called a Left Ventricular Assist Device [LVAD], implanted to treat his recurring heart disease.

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