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Two transplants: An NFL player saves a baseball legend while a teacher donates to her principal

Posted April 20

A dying NFL player and a baseball legend. A school teacher and her principal.

The lives of each pair came together through life-saving organ transplants, as recently reported by various news outlets.

Rod Carew, a Hall of Fame baseball player, was the recipient of a heart and kidney from former NFL tight end Konrad Reuland, according to ESPN.com. It may be the first-ever transplant between professional athletes.

Already near death after suffering a heart attack, Carew was at the top of the donor list when Reuland died of a brain aneurysm at age 29 on Dec. 12, 2016.

A few months later, Carew and the Reuland family came together, the article stated.

"I will take care of this one because I've been given a second chance, and God knows how I feel and what I'm going to do for him," Carew told Reuland's family in the ESPN.com article.

Carew played for the Minnesota Twins and California Angels from 1967-1985 and was a coach with the Angels and Milwaukee Brewers from 1992-2001. He was the American League's Most Valuable Player in 1981.

Reuland played for the New York Jets (2012-2013) and Baltimore Ravens (2014-2015).

Reuland met Carew in the late 1990s as a sixth grader before their lives crossed paths again almost 20 years later through the transplant, according to CNN.com.

More details about the Carew-Reuland story were shared by the American Heart Association.

An article in the Kansas City Star tells how Natalie Frese, a second-grade teacher at Tonganoxie Elementary School in Tonganoxie, Kansas, donated her left kidney to Ty Poell, the school's principal, last fall. The article is authored by Natalie's husband, David Frese.

Poell's need for a kidney transplant was brought on by a genetic condition known as Alport syndrome. He has felt like a new man since receiving the new kidney, the article said.

"I just feel alive again," he said in the article.

Read the rest of the article here.

Email: ttoone@deseretnews.com Twitter: tbtoone

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