“I feel a lot of emotion that goes with [the heart transplant], frankly,” Cheney said. “One is great gratitude to the individual and family that donated the heart I was privileged to receive. The fact that I no longer carry around 10 pounds of batteries … that I wore in a vest 24-7, I don’t have to do that anymore, so I’m not wired to the wall.”
Cheney also discussed the hours leading up to his transplant. The former VP said he got a phone call at midnight on March 24 that a heart had become available, and said he was at the hospital and undergoing surgery by 7 a.m.
The surgery lasted about five hours, he said. He was “up and around” after two days, and released from the hospital nine days later.
“I’m back to having a strong and healthy heart,” Cheney continued. “I feel better in terms of my overall health than I have in a long time.”
Cheney, 71, had been on the heart transplant list for more than 20 months. He has suffered from coronary artery disease since he was 37, has had five heart attacks and had a pacemaker installed in 2001.
Last week, Cheney took the stage for the first time since his surgery at the Wyoming Republican Party state convention, where he blasted President Obama, calling him an “unmitigated disaster.”