Former Vice President Dick Cheney.
News Wednesday of former Vice President Dick Cheney's heart surgery last week to implant a left ventricular assist device in his chest had me turning to the very helpful DrZebra.com for its excellent, if somewhat dated, primer on Cheney's medical history.
Dr. Zebra, really Dr. John Sotos, a Johns Hopkins University-trained cardiologist with a penchant for presidential history, suggested years ago that Cheney suffered from congestive heart failure. Other doctors have guessed as much as well.
In a statement issued by his office Wednesday, Cheney said he recently started "entering a new phase of the disease when I began to experience increasing congestive heart failure."
Anyway, Sotos does a great job of recounting Cheney's medical problems, which have largely been heart-related, on this page. For those with a little time to kill, he even walks you through the public information on Cheney's medical issues on an animated page. Unfortunately, his chronology ends in 2006.
It's difficult not to come away from Sotos' explication of Cheney's health problems with renewed awe for what modern medicine can accomplish when money is no object and the patient has access to the best medical experts.