New Twist to Cardiac Rehabilitation: Rehab like you Work

Scott Sayers is a Dallas cop on the beat--in this picture making the rounds during the Super Bowl.

He's also an avid athlete but while playing soccer he simply could not catch his breath.

"I did a stress test,” Scott recalled.” “They told me I had eight blockages."

Scott had five stents put in--but doctors were unable to place the final three.

"The next day I had open heart, double bypass surgery,” Scott paused then added. “At 39."

Scott was told by a friend about a unique rehabilitation program at Baylor Heart and Vascular Hospital in Dallas, Texas.

It's called Return to Work.

The concept is simple: Create a job specific rehab program.

Scott gave us an idea of what he went through by punching a dummy, whacking another dummy on the knees with a wand and then fighting and taking down another dummy.

Scott used the tools of his trade, just like he did during the academy.

He said he did wonders both physically and mentally.

"I had to know that if I got back on the street and had to chase a guy or my partner was in trouble that I could fight and run and protect my partner as well as myself," Scott said.

Jenny Adams is the senior research associate at the hospital and exercise physiologist for the Return to work Program.

Adams trains specific muscle fibers while raising the heart rate. Nurses monitor the patient’s heart.

Adams said she wants to change the face of rehab.

"We would like to see other rehab programs adopt this model so it's not about police officers and fire fighters,” Adams said. “It's about all industrial athletes who do activities in their jobs."

The Return to Work program isn't just for fire fighters and police officers. If you do a lot of work around the house, they have a vacuum. I you like landscaping, they have a lawnmower and for construction workers they have a shovel and plenty of rocks.

Scott returned to work in about six weeks.

He knew he was 100% during the annual Thanksgiving flag football game.

"Opening kickoff they kicked it to me and I ran it all the way back for a touchdown and all my friends were like, Sayers is fine," Scott recalled with a grin. “We don't have to worry about him."