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Responders' Heart Problems

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Scott Sayer lives a very active and demanding life. A veteran detective with the Dallas Police Department--he also plays soccer and ice hockey every week. But one day while playing-- he just didn't feel right.

"I knew something was wrong. I just thought I was just getting old"

It was his heart. He had 85% blockage. Sayer underwent bypass surgery at the young age of 39. His father had the same surgery at the same age.

"It really hits home when it looks like you're on the same path as your dad."

After heart surgery, Sayer wanted to get back to his sports and his job. He eventually found a rehab program called "Return to Work Lab." It's designed especially for people with physically demanding lifestyles and careers.

"By the time they get out of here, they've used this as a platform to test themselves"

Jenny Adams--a researcher for Baylor-- started the program back in 2008. "We take more of a coaching and a personal training aspect instead of the cookie cutter type rehab."

She built a 10 week regiment that got Sayer back on the streets as a detective.

"I would come strike the dummy routinely over and over. I would drag this around and flip him over like hand cuffing techniques. Typically we would practice strikes--open handed strikes. I didn't want to go out with my partner and get in a situation where we had to get physical and I would pass out and now my partners life is in danger"

And now at the age of 44, Sayer feels his whole life is in front of him. "I want to be there for my kids after long into after they get in college"

Although the "Return to Work" program was initially created with police officers in mind,  it has expanded and is now available to any patient recovering from heart surgery at Baylor.

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