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

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

He underwent a 13-hour procedure to receive the transplants.

"In terms of health, his heart was a Ferrari", Reuland's mother, Mary, told the San Jose Mercury News this week. Two weeks later, Reuland would be dead as a result of that aneurysm. Just seven months earlier, the young athlete had signed up to be an organ donor. "The one paramedic, he had the paddles in his hand - 'Come on we're losing him!'" said Rod Carew. The Reulands each took a stethoscope and listened to Konrad's heart in Carew's chest, the heart association said. Once again, she heard her son's heart pumping. Because Konrad Reuland died at 29, the name carries added meaning.

After one year playing for the Irish, however, Reuland elected to transfer to Stanford in his home state of California, where he would continue to develop in his two seasons with the Cardinal, catching 27 passes for 351 yards and a touchdown during that span.

Reuland was a big tight end who developed a bad headache while on a treadmill during a workout while hoping to return to play with another team in the NFL. Rhondas daughter Cheyenne was there all three years, and her son Devon also was there Konrads final year. He started one game and played in four.

Now, months removed from these connected stories coming to light, it's clear that, even in death, Reuland saved another man's life. He flatlined twice, but survived. He spent a year with a left ventricular assist device, or LVAD, in his chest handling the work of his damaged heart.

Former NFL tight end Konrad Reuland died December 12 at the age of 29 following a ruptured brain aneurysm.

Rod Carew likely doesn't remember the first time he interacted with Konrad Reuland.

He received Reuland's heart in a 13-hour procedure at the UCLA Medical Center on December 16. Carew and his family then visited the Reuland family in March. Carew brought a baseball with a message written in pen.

"Whatever, if we can save a life - and that means including Konrad now, you know, wherever I go, he's going to be there", Rod said. Organ donations are always kept anonymous for at least a year, allowing families to process their loved one's death and to surpass the period when a recipient's body is at the highest risk to reject the organ. "It was really kind of cute".

Upon learning Konrads heart mightve gone to Carew, Mary could hardly breathe.

"I showed the lady my pass, and she told me I was on standby, and I wasn't on standby, so I moved to the side and watched my plane; I watched the people board my plane", Briscoe said. Mary also recounted the time when her son came back from school when he was only 11-years-old, bragging about meeting Major League Baseball legend Rod in person. Wow! It was like something that festers. "God knows how I feel and what I'm going to do for Him". He asked her whether he should become an organ donor.

"All he talked about for the rest of that day was, 'I met Rod Carew!"' said Reuland's mother, Mary. "You never know, it could be time for a comeback".


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