Baseball Hall of Famer Rod Carew received a heart and kidney from an organ donor in December 2016. Carew knew the donor was a 29-year-old, a coincidence considering that was the number he wore during his playing career.
Now, per Baltimoreravens.com, comes the news that the donor was former NFL player Konrad Reuland, who died last December after suffering an aneurysm.
Carew, a seven-time American League batting champion and first-ballot Hall of Famer, was on a transplant list in November 2016. His condition worsened, and he moved to the top of the list on Dec. 9, 2016.
Unbeknownst to Carew, Konrad Reuland, a little boy he had met nearly 20 years earlier, died three days later.
Two days after that, Carew received the call he had been waiting for – he would be getting a new heart and kidney. He underwent a 13-hour procedure to receive the transplants.
The surgery was a success, and the Carews were eternally grateful to the man whose heart and kidney Rod had received. Rod’s wife, Rhonda, had friends who had seen the news of Reuland’s death and asked her if that was the heart he received, but they had no way of knowing.
At Reuland’s funeral in Southern California, people asked his mom whether she thought Konrad’s organs had been donated to Carew.