Friday, 28 July, 2017

In death, former NFL TE helped save Rod Carew's life

Rod Carew Rod Carew's new heart, kidney came from late NFL player
Damon Campbell | 16 April, 2017, 02:40

His heart beats on in one of his heroes. Rhondas daughter Cheyenne was there all three years, and her son Devon also was there Konrads final year.

An essay called "Heart of a Raven" on the National Football League team's website revealed the story on Friday.

"And then when we left I said, 'Whoever gets his heart, better deserve it, '" Mary said. It was at this point, that Rod himself had to conclude that he would always be a part of the Reuland family, and always grateful that he was given a new lease on life. 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. "The one paramedic, he had the paddles in his hand - 'Come on we're losing him!'" said Rod Carew. He got the call that a match was found on December 14. The Heart Association story notes that when he was about 11 years old, Reuland had met Carew at school and gushed about it the rest of the day.

The former big leaguer's name was atop the priority list after the heart attack was deemed life-threatening.

The American Heart Association set up the first meeting and the two families have gotten together several times since.

The only details the Carew family received before the transplant were that the donor was "male, late 20s, local, exceptionally healthy".

Reuland's mother was told the recipient was a 71-year-old man from Southern California.

'This is Mary Reuland, ' she said, leaving a voicemail after dialing up Carew's wife, Rhonda.

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Rhonda started to piece things together when she learned Carew was bumped up on the list because he and the donor both were immune to Hepatitis B - putting him ahead of others - and Reuland was type O meaning he could donate to anyone.

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.

Heart disease has touched the Reulands, too. It was easy for Mary to connect the dots, and the donation company confirmed for her that it was Carew who had her son's heart and kidney.

The majority of the time people receiving organ transplants do not know who the donor was.

She asked a doctor for the man's precise age and was told 29 (also Carew's uniform number).

The families plan to cooperate, particularly on "Heart of 29", the crusade Carew began a year ago with the American Heart Association.

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

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