I "Heart" Dick Cheney: my book review!
My review of "Heart: An American Medical Odyssey" - the new book by former Vice President Dick Cheney - can be summed up in one word: "superb!"
Not only is it an exciting peek behind the scenes of Washington, but there's much more: a tense and highly uplifting story of success against all odds.
Much has already been made about the revelations in the book about V.P Cheney and his doctors deciding to disable wireless control of his implanted defibrillator. They rightfully believed that terrorists might try to access it in order to plunge the U.S. into chaos.
But, the book also describes Mr. Cheney's harrowing journey to finally solve his heart problems. For years, top doctors around the world had warned him that an implanted defibrillator was just a temporary fix: he needed an actual heart transplant.
For those who weren't aware, heart transplants are still a rare procedure and there's only a limited supply of hearts available. The Vice President might end up waiting years for a new heart, and by then it might be too late.
Thankfully, the situation changed overnight as Kenneth - a child who the Cheneys had adopted just years before - was the victim of a boating accident. Kenneth was a close match for Mr. Cheney - the same blood type and build - but he was only 16 years old. Would his heart work to save the Vice President?
Overnight, a team of top cardiologists frantically worked to transplant Kenneth's heart, hoping for the best. Their hopes were dashed two days later when the child's heart turned out to be 5% too small.
The situation looked grim, until just a week later when Timothy - another child the Cheneys had adopted in 2007 - succumbed to an accident at a hunting lodge in Alaska. Mr. Cheney and his medical team stood at the ready, waiting for the heart to arrive. While Timothy was also the same blood type as the Vice President, he was older and the doctors believed his heart would be a good fit. But, tragically, the accident had taken place in Alaska and the doctors worried that the heart might not arrive in time.
Did the situation work out for the best? Well, to find out, you'll need to read the book!