Dick Cheney Recovering from Heart Transplant

The former vice president has been battling heart disease for decades.
1:37 | 03/26/12

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Transcript for Dick Cheney Recovering from Heart Transplant
Out to the latest on former Vice President Dick Cheney who had a heart transplant over the weekend he has been battling heart disease as you know for decades five heart attacks. At 71 he is older than your average patient and wait longer as well NBC's Jonathan Karl has all the details -- towards us from Washington good morning John. Good morning Robin this morning Vice President Cheney is in intensive care recovering from his transplant surgery at -- Northern Virginia hospital. Or a friend tells ABC news he is quote doing great. The next 48 hours will be critical Cheney's recovery. Doctors determine if his body accepts the new parts. For Dick Cheney heart trouble it's been a way of life for almost four decades he was just 37 when he had his first heart attack. Not long after suffering his fifth heart attack two years ago doctors implanted -- battery powered device to pump the blood through his body. Last September Cheney told us said the device was keeping you -- -- you don't change the batteries on the. Well it -- to be. And it's my -- Can get to the point where. You have to change the batteries this with the batteries look like and -- than ten hours. -- -- And then when I do this course yeah did you put about it. Back then Cheney was -- sure whether he would ever get a heart transplant this is yet. -- good enough over the years that we've got a lot of people now living with a pump. And and left to make a decision at some point and I want to go for a transplant but. That's on the roadways. After twenty months on a waiting list for a donor heart Cheney finally had -- opportunity to go for transplant. Some may find it surprising that someone Cheney's age is now -- -- be one would be getting a heart transplant but it's not all that unusual anymore. Last year 332. Of the more than 2300 people who got heart transplants -- over 65 years old. But Cheney friend tells -- BC news that the surgery quote went really well. And in a statement Cheney spokesman says that all the former vice president and his family do not know the identity of the donor. He'll be forever grateful for this -- -- -- -- sure that they well all right John thanks so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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