Former Jets player who saved Rod Carew’s life was lifelong fan

All baseball Hall of Famer Rod Carew wanted to become a brand new coronary heart and a bit desire — what he didn’t recognize became that a young boy he met almost twenty years in the past would be only to provide it to him.

The fan kid turned into Konrad Reuland, a former Jets player and Ravens tight cease whose surprising demise from a brain life aneurysm stunned buddies and teammates last yr.

He changed into just eleven years-antique when he and the Twins legend first crossed paths.


“‘You recognize I met Rod Carew!’” Reuland’s mother, Mary, recalled him saying again and again after assembly the all-superstar infielder at college.

“That’s how it becomes the complete relaxation of the day,” she informed Baltimoreravens.Com in an interview posted Friday.

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“It changed into the virtual type of lovely.”His mom stated that the come across turned into a once-in-a-lifetime meeting that Reuland carried with him at some point of his career as a professional athlete.

However, as destiny might have it, it wouldn’t be the closing time their lives could collide.


On Dec. sixteen, simply 3 days after the 29-year-old exceeded away, the pair discovered themselves related another time — with Reuland being subsequent in line to offer Carew the coronary heart he so desperately needed.

The primary poll Corridor of Famer and seven-time AL batting champ had been laid up inside the clinic for greater than 12 months, the use of an implant in his chest to hold his frame functioning efficiently as he recovered from lifestyles-threatening complications from a coronary heart assault.

The close-call got here on Sept. 20, 2015, and doctors had warned Carew that the quit could be close to ought to he now not gets a transplant.

After a month of waiting, the boy he met all the ones years ago might land up being the answer to his prayers — giving him the heart he wished, at the side of a brand new kidney.

“You’re a part of our family now,” Mary remembered telling Carew after assembly him in man or woman on March 2.


“Forever,” Rod advised her. “I will deal with this one because I’ve been given a 2nd chance, and God is aware of how I feel and what I’m going to do for him.”

Mary went on to mention that she knew right away after assembly Carew that he could be the precise recipient for her son’s heart.“We misplaced an incredible guy, so it needed to cross into an outstanding individual,” she explained to Rod at the time. “I couldn’t be happier that it went to such an amazing man.”

Konrad’s demise came as an entire surprise remaining December — shaking not best his buddies and own family to their core, However his coaches and teammates, as properly.

“We misplaced a Raven today,” head coach John Harbaugh stated as he brought the news of his passing.

“I simply need to provide condolences to his family,” he delivered. “We love Konrad Reuland. Each unmarried guy inside the locker room loves him.”

In his two seasons with the Jets, Reuland performed in 26 games and had 12 catches for ninety yards and no touchdowns. He went directly to play four video games for the Ravens before touchdown with the Indianapolis Colts.

Even as Reuland did now not see any gambling time in 2016, he had been planning on making a return — and become even schooling in his homeland in Southern California just in case a crew wanted to pick him up.

The whole lot appeared ideal, notwithstanding the instances, and he even got to spend his first Thanksgiving together with his own family in nine years. However, The whole lot would change just two days later.

On Nov. 26, At the same time as running out in the gym, Reuland recalled listening to a click on in his head — which grew to become out to be an aneurysm.

“Our lives modified dramatically at that second,” Mary explained to the Raven’s business enterprise.

For the following few days, Reuland laid in a health facility mattress, hoping for the best and staying constructive.
“Thank you FOR THE PEP Talk!” he wrote in a text to his mom after a go-to, in all caps.

“I’M Approximately TO KICK THIS Issue’S BUTT, WITH THE Assist OF GOD,” the young man delivered. “HE HAD Something Massive IN Store FOR ME, AND This is Something With a view to Assist Take place WHAT It’s far…I will’T WAIT To see In which HIS WILL TAKES ME.”Later that week, Reuland’s organs failed, and he started out to develop pneumonia and an infection in the lungs. His head quickly started to swell, and it wasn’t long before his own family realized he wasn’t going to make it.

However, just like his will to need to return to the gridiron, Reuland wasn’t Approximately to exit without combat.

After nearly an hour, his lung feature had been restored, and oxygen had returned to his organs — making him a perfectly suitable donor.

“They came out, and they have been simply dumbfounded,” Reuland’s father, Ralf, instructed the Raven’s agency.