Rod Carew's new heart, kidney came from late NFL player

16 April, 2017, 02:39 | Author: Felix Jensen
  • Getty Images

Konrad Reuland died on December 12, two weeks after suffering a brain aneurysm. A brain aneurysm robbed him of his future, but he wound up giving back to the world anyway. Carew also had a kidney transplant. But when Mary first saw Rod outside her home, she greeted him warmly with a big hug and said, "You're part of our family now".

“Thank you, ” Carew said.

"Forever, 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", Carew responded, according to the story. Reuland was an organ donor; after he died in December, his heart and a kidney went to Carew, who desperately needed a heart.

Reuland didn't have a similarly successful National Football League career, but now, his memory will live on forever with Carew. In 2012-13, he played in 26 games for the New York Jets, catching 12 passes.

The only details the Carews received prior to the transplant were that the donor was “male, late 20s, local, exceptionally healthy.” They later learned his exact age: 29.

The two men's blood classification was the same, however the key component was both were safe from Hepatitis B. Nobody in front of Carew on the transplant rundown was insusceptible.

The three stories all note that Mary Reuland later used a stethoscope to listen to her son's heart beating in Carew's chest.

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“We are so thankful, so grateful, so there arent adequate words, ” Rhonda told the Reulands.

The families plan to work together on an American Heart Association campaign, "Heart of 29", to raise awareness and prevention of heart disease.

Unbeknownst to Carew, Konrad Reuland, a little boy he had met almost 20 years earlier, died three days later. Rod was released from the hospital on February 14, and the Reulands invited Rod and his family to their home on March 2.

Doctors found a subdural hematoma in Carew's brain last July, which caused hallucinations and kept him from being eligible for a transplant until November 18 of this year. Mary lost her dad and a 31-year-old sibling to heart assaults; Ralf's dad has gotten a stent and fights atrial fibrillation.

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.

Mary said "everybody was connecting the dots" and when she called the donation company, it confirmed Caraw had received two of her son's organs. Since Konrad Reuland kicked the bucket at 29, the name conveys included importance.

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