Heart transplants are particularly hard to come by: a little more than 2,300 were performed last year. And most new hearts go to people slightly younger than 71-year-old Dick Cheney.
According to [the United Network for Organ Sharing], 332 people over age 65 received a heart transplant last year. The majority of transplants occur in 50- to 64-year-olds.
Previously, Cheney had been forced to use a left ventricular assist device, a pump used to keep transplant candidates alive while they wait for a new heart. Cheney had complained about difficulty getting around with the device. Even so, he had said he was undecided about getting a heart transplant.
Cheney and his new heart are currently recovering at a hospital in Virginia.
[Image via AP]