By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS
BALTIMORE – The Baltimore Ravens are honoring the memory of Konrad Reuland, their former player who died in December of a ruptured brain aneurysm at age 29 – and whose selfless decision to donate his organs enabled Baseball Hall of Famer Rod Carew to receive a new heart.
Mary and Ralf Reuland, Konrad’s parents, will be among those taking part in the ceremony during the first quarter of the Ravens’ Thursday night game against the Miami Dolphins. Carew and his wife, Rhonda, also will attend.
The NFL Network created a powerful video that will be aired during the pre-game broadcast. A version of that will be shown inside the stadium.
Reuland spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons with the Ravens. He died while the Ravens were playing and Baltimore coach John Harbaugh tearfully opened his postgame news conference by saying, “We lost a Raven today.”
Reuland attended middle school with Carew’s children and was 11 when he met the baseball great. The families shared many mutual friends, but no relationship – until devastating circumstances brought them together.
Reuland’s aneurysm emerged the day after last Thanksgiving. It ruptured days later and he died soon after. Carew happened to be near the top of the waiting list for a heart, and a variety of factors made them a match. Their mutual friends thought that may have been the case; Mary Reuland and Rhonda Carew worked together to verify it. This heart is believed to be the first to go from one pro athlete to another.
Heart disease invaded Carew’s life in September 2015. Early in his battle, the Carews established Heart of 29, an awareness campaign with the American Heart Association. The revelation of Reuland being his donor has provided another platform to spread his message.
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