Dick Cheney is considered to be a marvel of modern medicine, because he survived five heart attacks with the aid of cutting-edge technology, including an artificial pumping device and a heart transplant, Newsmax Health reports.
“I started smoking at the age of 12.” Cheney revealed.
He went on to become a three-pack a day smoker, a habit which grew during his time as chief of staff for President Gerald Ford.
“In those days, smoking was not only allowed at the White House, it was encouraged,” he said. “They delivered free cigarettes every week. They had the presidential seal on them. There was nothing cooler during a meeting than to whip out a presidential cigarette.
But, after his first heart attack at age 37, he abruptly quit.
Now 72, he says he has been given a new lease on life after a heart transplant last year. He and his cardiologist Dr. Jonathan Reiner have written a book together, “Heart: An American Odyssey,” which chronicles Cheney’s remarkable heart disease survival story.
The new book details Cheney’s five heart attacks and the procedures used to save him, including angioplasty, bypass surgery, the implantation of a cardioverter defibrillator, and finally a heart transplant in March of 2012.
In addition to quitting smoking, Cheney offered the following tips that he credits with helping him survive:
If you are lucky enough to have a job you love, keep at it.
Find a stress-reducing hobby.
Find the best cardiologist available.
If you sense anything is wrong, don’t delay going to the hospital.
Cultivate gratitude. “I wake up every day grateful to be alive. I am grateful to my doctor, grateful to the heart donor’s family, and grateful to see another day that I never thought I would see.”