|The identity of the man who saved Hall of Famer Rod Carew's life was late NFL tight end and former Baltimore Ravens player Konrad Reuland.
Reuland suffered an aneurysm over Thanksgiving weekend in November. His condition drastically worsened in the middle of December, however, when the 29-year-old suddenly went into organ failure while at the hospital. Inexplicably, Reuland's lungs began to work again soon after, despite having suffered irreparable damage to his brain, according to Garrett Downing of BaltimoreRavens.com.
Though Reuland was officially pronounced dead Dec. 12, his lungs managed to stay functioning and still supply oxygen to his organs. Carew, who had suffered a heart attack Sept. 20, 2015 and was in need of a new heart and kidney, received both of these organs from Reuland following a 13-hour surgery in December after waiting for a donor for over a year.
"We lost a wonderful man, so it had to go into a wonderful person," Reuland's mother, Mary, told Carew, according to Downing. "I couldn't be happier that it went to such a wonderful man."
Under normal circumstances, families are told to wait at least a year before contacting a recipient of their relatives' organs. Though, after rumors surfaced Carew was the recipient, Reuland's parents opted to confirm their suspicions almost immediately by calling the donation company.
"We needed to know for our sake if it was really true," his mother told Downing.