We are in awe. Konrad Reuland’s death was hard to process for many, but the silver lining is that his heart was donated to baseball star Rod Carew. The athletes met years prior, not knowing the pivotal roles they would play in each other’s lives.
From one legend to another. The organs for Rod Carew’s, 71, life-saving heart and kidney surgery were provided from somebody he met twenty years ago, former New York Jets tight end Konrad Reuland. 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. He suffered a heart attack and had two blood clots in his brain, so when Konrad sadly passed away on Dec. 12, 2016, Rod’s life-saving transplant surgery was conducted four days later.
— Stanford Football (@StanfordFball) December 13, 2016
Konrad was only 29-years-old when he tragically died, two weeks after he suffered a brain aneurysm. “We lost a wonderful man, so it had to go into a wonderful person,” Mary Reuland, his mother said via a statement on the Ravens’ official website. “I couldn’t be happier that it went to such a wonderful man.” Mary also recounted the time when her son came back from school when he was only 11-years-old, bragging about meeting MLB legend Rod in person. Wow!
“That’s how it was the whole rest of the day,” Mary gushed about her late son. ”It was really kind of cute. For him to meet a pro athlete at that age, it was like the best thing that could happen to him.” Interestingly enough, Rod didn’t know whose organs he received, since the donor’s family has to request that information in order to set up a meeting. “They found me a 29-year-old heart,” he joked to Fox Sports in Jan. 2017. “You never know, it could be time for a comeback.”
The Ravens said Konrad’s other kidney went to a 60-something woman in California and a man in his 50s received his liver. Rod was happily able to return home in late Jan., seven weeks after the transplant surgery. He responded to Mary’s sweet sentiments, “I will take care of this one because I’ve been given a second chance, and God knows how I feel and what I’m going to do for him.”
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