Hospitalized Cheney 'feeling good,' source says

Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - 10:30am

Washington - Former Vice President Dick Cheney was "feeling good" a day after being hospitalized with chest pains, a source who spoke to Cheney said Tuesday.

The source said Cheney watched some Olympics coverage on television Monday night hours after being admitted to George Washington University Hospital in Washington, but he was in a "holding pattern" until more tests were conducted Tuesday morning.

Cheney's doctors were evaluating his situation, a family source said. Another source said Cheney, 69, is up and in touch with his family and friends.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent, called Cheney's mobility "a good sign."

"If he's up and walking around, talking to friends. ... That probably means he's not in the intensive care unit," Gupta said. "They're not doing active procedures on his heart. He's not on a breathing machine or anything like that. No one ever said he was. It's obviously a good sign."

Cheney has a long history of heart problems. He has suffered four heart attacks since 1978 when he was 37. He suffered his second heart attack in 1984 and a third in 1988 before undergoing quadruple bypass surgery to unblock his arteries. His fourth heart attack occurred in November 2000. At that time, doctors inserted a stent to open an artery.

The following year, doctors implanted a heart monitoring device to keep track of his heart rhythm and slow it down if necessary. In 2008, he underwent a procedure to restore his heart to a normal rhythm after doctors found he was experiencing a recurrence of atrial fibrillation.

Since leaving office in 2009, the former vice president has been a vocal critic of the Obama administration, most recently on ABC's "This Week," where he railed against its policies on terrorism and the Iraq war.

He has accused the administration of failing to treat the fight against terrorists as war, citing the decision to try accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a civilian court, the move to treat the failed Christmas Day airline bomber as a suspect in the U.S. criminal justice system and actions to shut down the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Cheney also served in the administrations of former Presidents Nixon, Ford and George H.W. Bush.