Last December, Ravens tight end Konrad Reuland experienced sharp pain in his head. The 29-year-old was discovered to have had a brain aneurysm and was sent to the hospital. Two weeks later, Reuland would be dead as a result of that aneurysm.
Reuland had been a fan of baseball Hall of Famer Rod Carew and met Carew as an 11-year-old. Their lives were connected back then and 18 years later, their lives would be connected once again.
When Reuland died, his organs were donated to people who needed them. It was discovered that Reuland’s heart and kidney to a 71-year-old man less than five miles away. And after going to the top of the list for needing a new heart, it would be Carew who received Reuland’s heart and kidney.
The Ravens website does a great job telling the story of how Reuland was able to give Carew another chance at life. The Carew’s were aware of Reuland’s death through the news a couple days before and had wondered whether or not Rod received his heart. At the same time, Reuland’s family saw the news that Carew received the heart of a 29-year-old man and had wondered the same thing.
Last month, after the two families connected, the Reulands met the Carews for the first time and got to hear Konrad’s heartbeat one more time. The Reulands were thankful that Konrad’s heart went to such a great man. All Konrad’s family had asked was that the person who would get Konrad’s heart better deserve it. And it seemed like that happened.
In addition to saving Carew’s life, Konrad was able to save the lives of a woman in her 60’s who needed the other kidney and a man in his 50’s who needed a liver thanks to organ donation.
[Baltimore Ravens/Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP]