Rod Carew's heart transplant came from ex-Baltimore Ravens TE Konrad Reuland

Rod Carew's heart transplant came from ex-Baltimore Ravens TE Konrad Reuland

The Ravens said Konrad's other kidney went to a 60-something woman in California and a man in his 50s received his liver.

With tears in her eyes, she said she recognized the beat of her son's heart.

It roared just as it did when Konrad was a high school All-American and one of the nation's top 100 recruits as a tight end at Mission Viejo, a football powerhouse. "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 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", according to the Ravens' posting.

When the families met in person for the first time, in a visit coordinated by the AHA on March 2, one of the first things Mary did was lean her head against Carew's chest. He spent two seasons at Notre Dame (2006 and 2007) before transferring to Stanford, where he finished out his college career before going undrafted in 2011. You know, he's a pro-athlete. She said she signed up to be a donor, so he chose to do so, too.

In 2015, Carew suffered a heart attack and was fitted with a mechanical device in his heart.

Unbeknownst to Carew, Konrad Reuland, a little boy he had met almost 20 years earlier, died three days later.

The Reuland family was not told directly who received their son's vital organs (because such records are not released publicly), but they were told that a 71-year-old man in Southern California was the lucky recipient.

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

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

Carew went on the transplant holding up rundown the Friday before Thanksgiving and moved higher fourteen days after the fact.

Coronary illness has touched the Reulands, as well.

The two families are now planning to team up to use Rod and Konrad's celebrity to promote the American Heart Association and to encourage many more people to become organ donors.

After the transplant, the Carew family did not know the identity of the donor, and the Reuland family did not know who received the heart, but there were enough details to connect the dots, according to the AMA.

Konrad was only 29-years-old when he tragically died, two weeks after he suffered a brain aneurysm.

Most of the time, people who receive organ transplants don't find out who the donor was.

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