Former Panther Greg Olsen shares video of son telling siblings he found donor heart

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 10:13 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Former Carolina Panther Greg Olsen shared a video Thursday of the moment his 8-year-old son TJ told his siblings that he found a donor match for a heart transplant.

TJ was born with a congenital heart defect and is now recovering after receiving the transplant earlier this week.

“Exactly 1 week ago, the selfless act of a random stranger, our special angel donor, allowed TJ to share this news with his brother and sister,” Olsen tweeted Thursday. “Forever grateful.”

Olsen tweeted the video of TJ telling his siblings the news of finding a donor match.

“You know how I need a heart transplant and I’ve been trying to find one? Today, this morning, I found one,” TJ said to his siblings. “Yes! Yes! Yes!” TJ’s brother and sister erupted.

Olsen tweeted Friday that there was a donor match for his son. That same night, Olsen said TJ was out of surgery and being transferred to the ICU to recover.

“Day 8- Today is a day of mixed emotions. A day we have prayed for has arrived,” Olsen tweeted. “Walking our little boy, with tears of hope and fear in our eyes, was one of the toughest moments of our lives.”

Olsen, the former Pro Bowl tight end for the Carolina Panthers, said TJ has had three open-heart surgeries and lived with a modified heart for eight years.

“Unfortunately, it seems his heart is reaching its end,” Olsen shared.

Olsen said TJ will continue to be seen at Atrium Health’s Levine Children’s Hospital near uptown Charlotte.

“We don’t know how long we will be within these hospital walls,” Olsen said. “We do know that we are in full control of our attitudes and our outlook.”

Olsen called his son a “fighter since birth.”

Olsen brought his Greg Olsen Foundation, which provides resources to families affected by cancer and cardiovascular diseases, to the community.

He has been instrumental in starting the HEARTest Yard program with the Atrium Health’s Levine Children’s Hospital, which raises money and provides programmatic support for children with congenital heart diseases.

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