Ex-NFL TE saves the life of Major League Baseball great

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Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame second baseman Rod Carew received a heart transplant last December.

The American Heart Association revealed new details on Friday about how the late tight end's mom and Carew's wife figured out the two athletes were forever bound.

Reuland died on December 12 from complications of a brain aneurysm he suffered in November and was out of professional football at the time, having bounced around the league for five seasons as a tight end.

The family finally got the confirmation that Carew did, indeed, receive the organs.

That man is MLB Hall of Famer Rod Carew. But when Mary first saw Rod outside her home, she greeted him warmly with a big hug and said, "You're part of our family now".

Amazingly enough, Reuland had met Carew some two decades earlier as an 11-year-old, as he went to middle school in California with the Major League Baseball great's kids. Using one of his stethoscopes, he, Mary and their youngest son Austin each heard Konrads heart thumping inside Rods chest.

After all, Konrad Reuland gave us a beacon of what it means to be special in life and in death. Carew knew the donor was a 29-year-old, a coincidence considering that was the number he wore during his playing career. Reuland had died four days earlier after a ruptured brain aneurysm at age 29.

This is believed to be the first such transplant involving pro athletes, yet thats only one of many links the men shared. Konrad Reuland's death was hard to process for many, but the silver lining is that his heart was donated to baseball star Rod Carew.

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Mary also made a decision to reach out to the Carew family.

The Times story said that in the hours before Reuland was declared brain dead, his mother put her head on his chest and listened to his heart beat for hours.

"I picked him up from school and the first thing he said when he got in the vehicle was, 'Mom, I met Rod Carew today!" He spent a year with a left ventricular assist device, or LVAD, in his chest handling the work of his damaged heart. "When we left him for the last time I said, 'Whoever gets his heart better deserve his heart because it was a good one'".

"The entire thing is quite recently inconceivable", Carew disclosed to American Heart Association News.

Carew, meanwhile, was placed on the heart transplant waiting list last November 18, and a few weeks later was moved higher on that list.

After the funeral, Mary started her own research.

"That's how it was the whole rest of the day", Mary gushed about her late son.

"Reuland told his mother one day, 'Mom, I met Rod Carew today!" the Orange County Register reported. "It was really kind of cute".

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