Late NFL player Konrad Reuland donated his heart to Rod Carew

Getty Images

Former Ravens, Colts, Jets and 49ers tight end Konrad Reuland died on December 12 at the age of 29 as a result of a brain aneurysm. That week, baseball Hall of Famer Rod Carew had a heart and kidney transplant. Those two stories hadn’t previously been connected, but the Ravens revealed today that Carew received Reuland’s organs.

Reuland’s mother, Mary, told the Ravens’ website that as her son lay dying in a hospital bed, she listened to his heart beat and thought she wanted her son’s heart to go to a good person.

“I had laid my right ear on his heart all day and just listened to his heartbeat,” Mary said. “When we left him for the last time I said, ‘Whoever gets his heart better deserve his heart because it was a good one.’”

Organ donations are typically kept anonymous, but news reports revealed that Carew had received a heart and a kidney from a 29-year-old man who was described as exceptionally healthy. The Reuland family had been told that the organs went to a 71-year-old man in Southern California. 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.

Carew and Mary Reuland met, and Carew said he’s going to take good care of his heart.

“I will take care of this one,” Carew said, “because I’ve been given a second chance.”

17 responses to “Late NFL player Konrad Reuland donated his heart to Rod Carew

  1. 29 that sucks. That’s half my age. Life isn’t fair though, as much as we all would like it to be.

    RIP and thanks for your good deed in helping someone else as your final act.

  2. There is more to this story, from what I’ve heard. Apparently, Reuland met Carew when he was 11 years old, and was bursting with enthusiasm from the interaction. Apparently, the meeting added to Reuland’s inspiration to be a professional athlete, something that he clearly accomplished. So this already heartwarming story apparently involves a full circle of positive feelings. I tip my hate to all involved, and am glad that some good came from this tragedy.

  3. Nothing but respect for Mr Reuland and his family.
    And good luck to the Carew family. Let’s dwell on the good that came out of this tragedy.

  4. “I had laid my right ear on his heart all day and just listened to his heartbeat,” Mary said.


    I can’t imagine going through this with my own child. It breaks my own heart. Puts all of my perceived problems in perspective.

    God Bless

  5. How in the world can anyone vote thumbs down on this article? This was the gift of life. Thank you Mr. Reuland.

  6. To the people that thumbs down these kind of stories. I hope you can sleep at night.

    29 way too young to go. But like some one else said GREAT final act.

    Man of the hour (by Pearl Jam) comes to mind


  7. Everyone should be listed as an organ donor. Should the unthinkable happen, you can give someone the gift of life.

Leave a Reply