You live and die by the money you spend

You live and die by the money you spend

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Money makes this world go around and around and around and around. It doesn’t grow on trees or on our rose bushes. We can’t make it in our basement. It’s

Illustration by Josette Adame

not magic, but it can give you a new heart.
Recently, former Vice President Dick Cheney, 71, used his money to surpass thousands of people younger than him on the transplant list to receive a new heart. That heart  could have saved the life of someone younger and could look forward to a healthier life. We have raised the question: “Did Cheney’s money make the transplant possible?”
Cheney, who is in good health (other than his heart), already has a heart pump that keeps his heart pumping. He was undecided about getting a new heart. After getting on the list, he still hadn’t made up his mind. Someone, somewhere had their mind ready and was willing to accept this new heart for Cheney.
The heart pump he had been using since July 2010 was keeping him alive and relatively healthy. Yet, he went on the transplant list. He has had five heart attacks and many surgeries to help him survive his heart condition.
Who and how does someone qualify for a new heart? Doctors do extensive tests to make sure someone’s healthy enough to receive a new heart; they need to be sure the heart is a match, and of the medical need of the recipient.
Money moves people   to the front of anything. We feel this is what happened in Cheney’s case. Cheney had the money and the jet to get to the heart as it became available. What about us? We don’t have that kind of money; would we be even considered or would we die waiting?
The new heart is expected to give Cheney an extra seven years; yes, we said seven. We wonder how many years this heart could give a 20-year-old or a teenager? As we have stated before, money gets us the best of everything: the best clothes, best cars, best schools, the best health care, and apparently, a new heart and an extended life. People without money get leftovers: second hand clothes, cars that pollute our world, a government funded school, and patience while waiting on a 300 person transplant list.
We believe that age was not the main issue. Instead, it was the influence of money, that green piece of paper. Cheney didn’t have any medical necessity for his transplant, money was the root of this procedure.
We believe Cheney could have continued with his heart pump and given that heart to a child, a mother, father, uncle, aunt this heart; a heart that would give them more than seven years. These extended years should be filled with laughter,  education, marriages, and the birth of children, not a trip to a nursing home or to the grave.
Doctors and surgeons, put your greed aside and set life as a propriety. Cheney’s family will be celebrating approximately another seven birthdays while another family is sobbing as they lay their family member to rest.

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