From Daniel Brown at the San Jose Mercury News on April 14, 2017:
Konrad Reuland spent the last day of his life in a coma as his mother, resigned to her son’s fate, curled up close, rested her head on his broad chest and listened to his heartbeat for as long as she could.
Reuland’s heart, strengthened by his days as a football player at Stanford and in the NFL, sounded as mighty as ever. And Mary lay there from sunrise to sundown savoring the pulsing rhythm. Occasionally, someone would gently nudge her and tell her it was time to go.
“No,” Mary told them. “This is the thing I have to do today.”
Reuland died of a brain aneurysm Dec. 12 and his organs were donated, as per his wishes. The family knew only that Konrad’s kidney went to a Southern California woman in her 60s, his liver went to a male in his 50s and, most notably, his heart and other kidney went to a 71-year-old man in south Orange County.
By the time of the funeral, friends who had read about Rod Carew’s recent heart transplant in Los Angeles were putting two and two together. They pulled Mary aside and asked if it was possible: Do you think Konrad saved Carew? Did the heart of an NFL player wind up in the chest of a baseball Hall of Famer?
Originally published: April 14, 2017. Last Updated: April 14, 2017.