Baseball Great Rod Carew Hopes to Raise Awareness After Heart Transplant From Tragic NFLer

NBC NEWS | Kevin Tibbles
Rod Carew holds Konrad Reuland's portrait as he stands for a photograph with Reuland's brother, Austin, left, their mother Mary and Carew's wife Rhonda in Encino, Calif. on April 18, 2017. Kort Waddell / NBC News
He was electric in the big leagues — Rod Carew was a seven-time American League batting champ and earned 18 All-Star selections.

But after suffering a massive heart attack on a golf course in 2015, the Hall of Famer says some of his most important work now is off the field.

"I always felt like I was healthy, I never felt like anything was wrong with me. Until the morning that I had a massive heart attack. On the golf course, by myself," Carew said at a news conference Tuesday, part of an effort to convince more people to get their heart checked regularly and eat right.

Carew got a second chance at life in December when he got a heart transplant from another professional athlete: Konrad Reuland, a former NFL tight end who suffered a fatal brain aneurysm two days after Thanksgiving, and who in his final days also said he had more work to do.

"He wanted to always help other people and that's the way he lived his life," Reuland's mother, Mary Reuland, said.

In April of 2016, Reuland made the decision in to be an organ donor while sitting at his mother's California home and renewing his driver's license. Continue reading

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