Carew is considered one of the greatest hitters in the history of baseball, as the owner of a.328 career average, 3,053 hits, seven batting titles and 18 All-Star Game selections while playing for the Minnesota Twins and California Angels.
The moment that would forever bind the two, however, came about a year ago in the Reuland kitchen.
Carew had been experiencing further deterioration in his health following a 2015 heart attack and was moved up on the list of donors, according to the East Bay Times.
The player's mother noted that when she was in the hospital listening to her stricken son's strong heart beating, she just couldn't bear the thought that it might stop. He underwent a 13-hour procedure to receive the transplants.
But his untimely death at 29 helped save the life of Major League Baseball legend Rod Carew. He put in a year with a left ventricular help gadget in his trunk taking care of the work of his harmed heart. Carew's family has always been signed up as organ donors in memory of his daughter, Michelle, who died of leukemia when she was unable to get a match for a bone marrow transplant.
Carew, meanwhile, was placed on the heart transplant waiting list last November 18, and a few weeks later was moved higher on that list.
At that point, the Carews didn't have much information at all about heart and the kidneys Rod was receiving; all they could be told was it was a "male, late 20s, local exceptionally healthy".
Carew experienced the system last December and met Reuland's family in March after common companions associated Reuland's passing with news of Carew's transplant on Dec. 16.
The American Heart Association believes this to be the first such transplant involving pro athletes. He asked his mother whether he should become an organ donor.
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. Rod was released from the hospital on February 14, and the Reulands invited Rod and his family to their home on March 2.
"'There it is, '" she said softly, breaking into a full smile and laying her head onto Rod's shoulder".
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