American Heart Association Via Mercury News

Mary Reuland, Rod Carew

Baseball Hall of Famer Rod Carew's life was saved a few months ago when he received a heart transplant. The heart came from former Stanford and NFL tight end Konrad Reuland, who was 29 when he died in December from a brain aneurysm.

San Jose Mercury News writer Dan Brown wrote a fantastic story about how Reuland's family connected with Carew after the transplant. It reveals, among other things, that when Reuland was a kid, he once met Carew.

Last month, Reuland's mother, Mary, got to listen to Konrad's heart beat again. Brown writes ...

When the families met in person for the first time, in a visit coordinated by the AHA on March 2, one of the first things Mary did was lean her head against Carew's chest. Using a stethoscope to eavesdrop on a miracle, she listened hard as Carew took deep and purposeful breaths.

Five seconds went by as Mary tried to find her son. Ten … 15 … 16 …

"There it is," Mary said.

Her face turned crimson and, reflexively, she wrapped her arms around Carew's neck. She was hugging a stranger. She was hugging her son.

Read the full story at