Often, hospitals limit transplants to patients who are 65 or younger, according to Reuters. But Cheney's 20-month wait attests to the fact that more people at advanced ages are receiving care once reserved for younger patients.
That wouldn’t be possible without decades of research, experimentation and advancements in both the medicine and technology involved in a heart transplant, a procedure that was only a glimmer of an idea 100 years ago.
Here's a look at some of the most noted moments in heart transplant history over the past century.
For more on heart disease, click here.