Wednesday, 28 June, 2017

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

Getty Images Getty Images
Spencer Simpson | 17 April, 2017, 00:17

During Reuland's funeral, family and friends of the young man learned that Carew received a heart and kidney transplant from a 29-year-old male who had died at the UCLA Medical Center, the same facility that Reuland himself passed away in days earlier.

"Thank you", Carew said. He was undrafted in 2011. He also spent time with the San Francisco 49ers and Indianapolis Colts.

Carew is considered one of the greatest hitters in the history of baseball, as the owner of a.328 career average, 3,053 hits, seven batting titles and 18 All-Star Game selections while playing for the Minnesota Twins and California Angels. Reuland played out his final two seasons and fought to land on an active National Football League roster after going undrafted in 2011.

Carew went on the transplant holding up rundown the Friday before Thanksgiving and moved higher fourteen days after the fact. Carew had moved to the top of the donor list in southern California on December 9, according to a story on the Baltimore Ravens' website, in dire need of a transplant after dealing with complications for more than a year since suffering a heart attack. She then pressed her ear against his chest to listen to the rhythm of the heartbeat made possible by her son's heart. Carew underwent a successful procedure.

The Reuland family was initially unaware of who received their son's heart and kidney.

The Times story said that in the hours before Reuland was declared brain dead, his mother put her head on his chest and listened to his heart beat for hours. The NFL player was on life support while Rod's condition continued to worsen, and the former Hall of Fame baseball star was soon placed at the top of the transplant list.

The American Heart Association believes this to be the first such transplant involving pro athletes.

The surgery was a success, and the Carews were eternally grateful to the man whose heart and kidney Rod had received.

Upon learning Konrad's heart might've gone to Carew, Mary could hardly breathe.

"You're part of the family now", Mary later told Rod and Rhonda.

Mary was cooking dinner while Konrad was filling out a drivers license renewal form. She'd signed up to do it, so he did, too.

There were some clues; Carew's wife was told the donor was an exceptionally healthy local man in his late 20s, the heart association said on its news website.

"Everybody was connecting the dots", Mary said.

"I've got it memorized", she said.

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.

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