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Rod Carew's New Heart, Kidney Came from Late NFL Player

Rod Carew's New Heart, Kidney Came from Late NFL Player

Rod Carew received his heart and kidney transplant from former National Football League player Konrad Reuland.

Three months after the successful transplant, Carew met Reuland's mother for the first time. Reuland had died four days earlier after a ruptured brain aneurysm at age 29.

"She called it a personal choice, so he asked what her choice was", the American Heart Association News wrote.

On one side was a "male, late 20s, local, exceptionally healthy".

The Reuland family was not told directly who received their son's vital organs (because such records are not released publicly), but they were told that a 71-year-old man in Southern California was the lucky recipient.

While such a wide age discrepancy might seem odd, the key factor was Hepatitis B. Both were immune.

Last month, the two families met and the Reuland's listened to Carew's new heart through a stethoscope.

After Reuland's mother told Carew he was now part of her family, he replied, "Forever".

Last fall, Reuland was on a treadmill when he experienced a severe headache. She was then told about Carew a few days later.

Weeks later he had brain surgery, but never regained consciousness.

Five seconds went by as Mary tried to find her son.

Carew, 71, suffered a heart attack while playing golf in Corona, California, on September 20, 2015. He put in a year with a left ventricular help gadget in his trunk taking care of the work of his harmed heart. He got the call that a match was found on December 14.

That's the story of Konrad Reuland and Rod Carew, a tale of one professional athlete - who saw his life end way, way too soon - miraculously saving the life of another.

Former Kentucky guard Isaiah Briscoe's path to the NBA Draft nearly took an interesting route. God knows how I feel and what Im going to do for Him.”.

"That was really cathartic for me to be able to hear it again", Mary said. "I couldn't be happier that it went to such a wonderful man".

Rod Carew has always been a private person, which makes Friday's edition of "The CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley" essential viewing for Twins fans.

Carew ranks 24th with 3,053 hits.

As the families shared hugs and tears, Mary was reminded of what she told the doctors before leaving Konrad's hospital room for the last time: Whoever gets his heart better deserve it. Mary lost her father and a 31-year-old brother to heart attacks; Ralf's father has received a stent and battles atrial fibrillation.

But Carew also had a military commitment, and spent parts of the next six years as a combat engineer with the Marine Corps Reserves, an experience he considered a "life-changing event".