LVAD – Dick Cheney – Observations


Warning  ~ This post is in regard to a politician, who is also a PERSON.

I was looking at my blog stats yesterday and noticed I had a number of hits on a post I did a while back in regard to an LVAD vest that can really benefit the mobility of a patient with the LVAD implanted.

It dawned on me that VP Dick Cheney announced the other day that he recently had LVAD surgery. Thus, many people must have been searching on “LVAD” and found my blog.

My observations are as follows …….

Most of the media downplayed the nature of this type of surgery. Putting it on a level along the lines of an appendectomy or some other short, run of the mill surgery. My personal observations are that the LVAD surgery seems to be rougher than heart transplant surgery, The recovery is slower and more difficult. The chances of infection are greater. And, if it’s being used as a bridge to transplant, there is still the heart transplant surgery itself that a patient has to go through. NEITHER of these are put a “band-aid on it and send them home” types of surgery or recovery.

There have also been a number of articles written in the past week explaining why Mr. Cheney should NOT be qualified for a heart transplant, mainly due to his age. A quick look at UNOS data tells me that about 10% of all heart transplants are people age 69 or older.

I’ve also read articles about his personal status & wealth that have allowed him better care and the ability to have this surgery. Well, I can personally introduce you to people on the other end of the socio-economic spectrum that have had LVAD & heart transplant surgery. 

I’m thinking that instead of thinking about the person, many of these writers are thinking about his politics. And that, is simply wrong. Any discussion about organ donations should NEVER  politics in any way, shape or form.

By the way, I know Mr. Cheney made some mistakes in his life, but he’s also a person. That’s what’s important. If all transplant recipients were looked at in terms of their own mistakes in life, I’m betting there would be a very short list of people in line for a transplant. I know I made plenty of mistakes!!

Organ donation is about people, not politics!!!

Personally, I wish him well. I know patients that have gone through what he’s going through and it’s a long, rough road!!!

Dick Cheney

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About DAP

I am a heart transplant recipient and these are my stories and thoughts. My desire is to assist others pre or post heart transplant in anyway possible. Please feel free to contact me if you have a question.
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4 Responses to LVAD – Dick Cheney – Observations

  1. LVADs are no longer being used only as bridges to transplants. Basically, for older patients, they are the end game. I don’t know if VP Cheny will be able to somehow finagle a new heart, but for the rest of us, the LVAD is the Hail Mary pass. Wow, enough football metaphors for ya?

  2. my2ndheartbeat says:

    Helen,

    Excellent point, as usual.

    Yes, the LVAD is also used for “destination therapy” as well as a bridge to transplant. There are also some patients that are trying to go full artificial heart to the same end.

    I personally don’t like the medical phrase of “destination therapy” ….. we all know what the destination will ultimately be.

    Be well, my friend!

  3. Michael Witt says:

    I’m 46 and suffered double heart attacks around mid-June 2011. On July 8th, I had an LVAD implanted in my chest. When they did the implantation (Is that a word?), they made it perfectly clear that it will be a bridge to transplant because I am so young.

    My best wishes to Mr. Cheney, and others waiting for a transplant. Always remember that life is short and be thankful for each day that wake up!

  4. my2ndheartbeat says:

    Michael,

    Thank for the nice comment and if there is anything I can do for you while you are waiting, please ask. I did NOT have the VAD, but know many people that have and they do quite well. Even better once they get transplanted. any wisdom I would give to you is about the same as I’d give a transplant patient. Listen to you VAD team, take your meds on time, eat properly and exercise as much as you are allowed, or your body will allow.

    I wish you well.

    God Bless!

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