Man Finishes Dallas Marathon With Surgeon Who Gave Him a 2nd Chance

Dwayne Pickens suffered a major heart attack while running the Dallas Marathon in 2017

A Dallas man got a second chance to cross the finish line at the BMW Dallas Marathon Relay after a near-death experience during the race last year.

And the man who gave him a second chance at life ran along with him this time around.

Dwayne Pickens suffered a major heart attack while running the race in 2017.

"I was a couple miles into the race, and I was just having a hard time breathing," he said.

A couple days later, Pickens had quadruple bypass surgery.

After the procedure, his cardiac surgeon, Dr. Baron Hamman, made him a deal to run the relay again, but this time with him.

"Here's a doctor that just sowed me up, knows what he did to my heart, and said we are going to do this next year. It was a major motivational factor," Pickens said.

Dr. Hamman said he saw the race as a way for him to not only help Pickens finish what he started, but also to get himself back into shape.

"I'll help him if he helps me," Hamman said.

The two, along with three of Pickens' sons, formed the team "DP Strong."

Together they all finished this year's marathon relay, with Pickens running the final stretch.

"I'm pretty emotional. I didn't earn this last year. I didn't make it. This year, I did," Pickens said.

Pickens said they hoped to make the run a yearly tradition.

He also hoped that his story would remind people to see their doctor each year, and if something feels "off" to get it checked, especially before any strenuous activity such as a marathon.

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