Caring for a sick child is no easy task, especially when that child is forced to spend time in a hospital, and has a disease or condition that could prove fatal. The strongest parents are reduced to rubble when their children are in peril, and former NFL tight end Greg Olsen is no different.
Olsen was a pro bowl tight end for the Carolina Panthers for years before retiring after a final year with the Seahawks this January and joining Fox Sports as an analyst. For nearly ten years, Olsen’s son, T.J., has been dealing with heart problems that seem to be coming to a head. T.J. was born in 2012 with a congenital heart defect that has required multiple open-heart surgeries and the insertion of a pacemaker.
Olsen shared the news in a series of tweets, revealing his son’s condition and his own hopes to find a donor.
Unfortunately, it seems his heart is reaching its end. We are currently working through the process to determine our next steps, which ultimately could lead to a heart transplant
— Greg Olsen (@gregolsen88) May 24, 2021
T.J. is at Levine Children’s Hospital, while the Olsens hope and pray for a heart for their little guy.
“We don’t know how long we will be within these hospital walls,” Olsen wrote on Twitter. “We do know that we are in full control of our attitudes and our outlook.”
When TJ and his sister Talbot were born, Olsen and his wife created the HEARTest Yard Foundation to help families undergoing similar crises, and over the years, Olsen has donated millions to the foundation. He’s even contributed to the construction of a 25,000-square-foot facility at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte that is known as the “HEARTest Yard Congenital Heart Center.”
Olsen thanked fans for their support, and shared a photo of his son on Instagram, promising to continue to share his story because he knows they aren’t alone. Not long after he made this announcement:
UPDATE- TJ is finished with surgery and is being transferred to the ICU. We won’t be able to see him for a few more hours but his doctors are very happy with the surgery. TJ will be sedated for a few days but his road to recovery has begun. https://t.co/JrYayw2j59
— Greg Olsen (@gregolsen88) June 4, 2021
And then T.J. had this to say, post-surgery:
Someone has an update pic.twitter.com/L1Zk2AgHpd
— Greg Olsen (@gregolsen88) June 7, 2021
Get well T.J., we’re rooting for you!