Rod Carew's transplanted heart donated from ex-Ravens TE Konrad Reuland

Posted April 16, 2017

"By the time of the funeral, friends who had read about Rod Carew's recent heart transplant in Los Angeles were putting two and two together". She was hugging her son. Garrett Downing wrote a piece titled HEART OF A RAVEN for the Baltimore Ravens' wensite, profiling a brief yet significant encounter in Reuland's life when he was only 11 years old.

The previous fall, blood thinners he took as a major aspect of his convention prompted seeping in his cerebrum, making it more dire for him to get another heart.

"He gets in the vehicle, big eyes and everything - he's about 11, maybe 12, and he's saying, "Mom, mommy, I met Rod Carew today!" "You never know, it could be time for a comeback". He asked his mother whether he should become an organ donor.

Carew's heart attack was described as a "widow maker", and doctors say he basically cheated death.

Carew suffered a major heart attack on a golf course on September 20, 2015. Hospital officials needed to find a match.

"That was really cathartic for me to be able to hear it again", Mary said.

Carew went on the transplant waiting list the Friday before Thanksgiving and moved higher a few weeks later. She said it was a personal choice, but added she was signed up to be a donor.

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The American Heart Association set up the first meeting and the two families have gotten together several times since.

Clues appeared such as Carew's wife being told the donor had been a very healthy local male and had been in his late 20s.

As per his wishes, Reuland's organs were donated - one of his kidneys was given to a Southern California woman in her 60s; his liver was given to a man in his 50s; and his heart and other kidney were given to a 71-year-old man in south Orange County, California.

While such a wide age discrepancy might seem odd, the key factor was Hepatitis B. Both were immune.

For Reuland's mom, this was too much of a coincidence.

Mary Reuland called the donation company, and it confirmed that Carew was the recipient of her son's organs.

This week the story was revealed by the American Heart Association of how one family of a legend in baseball and the family of a young player in the National Football League, who died of a brain aneurysm, learned of the circumstances surrounding the gift Carew received. It was named after his jersey number with the Twins and Angels and helps encourage early screenings for improved heart health - it was also, coincidentally, the age Konrad was when he died. Since Konrad Reuland kicked the bucket at 29, the name conveys included importance.