Greg Olsen's Son TJ Receives New Heart and Best in Humanity Is Shown

By OSDB Staff | Posted 8 days ago

This is a story of hope and despair. It is one people should wish never has to be written because of the loss. Yet, it also spotlights the best of humanity.

TJ Olsen, the 8-year-old son of former NFL star Greg Olsen, was born with a congenital heart defect in 2012. He'd undergone three open-heart surgeries and lived with a modified vascular organ for the past eight years.

FOX Sports did a story in 2014 as he turned two with his twin brother Talbot. 

Recently, Greg Olsen posted that TJ needed a heart transplant because the youngster’s defective one was running out of time.

On Friday, a donor heart was found and TJ underwent a heart transplant. Greg Olsen reported the medical team was satisfied with the surgery but TJ had a long road to recovery. 

What the TJ Olsen story has shown is the best in people. The community around the Panthers, the hospital and Charlotte have all rallied around the family.

The post received an outpouring of support from the Panthers and the community. The Olsens have been instrumental in a chid

The Olsens have given back via the HEARTest Yard program

The Carolinas, where Olsen played nine of his 14 year NFL career, rallied around young TJ. Olsen's foundation helped create the HEARTest Yard program with the Atrium Health's Levine Children's Hospital in North Carolina, raising money and providing programmatic support for children with congenital heart diseases.

In the end, after enduring this particularly trying hardship, Greg Olsen realized that his family was fortunate. That because of his wealth and access to care, he was able to get the best treatment available for TJ, no matter the cost, and no matter how far they need to travel. Realizing that his situation is a rarity, he wanted to do something to give back. So, he established a pair of foundations “The Heartest Yard” and “Receptions for Research” which have now grown and flourished into a full blown, 25,000 square foot care facility at Levine Children’s Hospital knows as the “HEARTest Yard Congenital Heart Center.”

The Olsen family has donated $2.5 million dollars to invest in the project from Greg’s foundations, and a unknown amount of funds directly from his earnings in the NFL. In total, it is known that the Olsen’s have both raised and donated of

themselves over $5 million dollars to help provide care and assistance to families battling these very serious genetic conditions.

Olsen showed before TJ went  into the hospital for the procedure the family was trying its best to stay focused on daily life. 

Thanks to modern medicine, “heart kids” – children with congenital heart defects – are living longer than ever before. But as these kids continue to defy the odds, they’re facing unexpected educational and behavioral challenges – challenges that often aren’t addressed or even

of children with congenital heart disease. And now, with the launch of our region’s first neurodevelopmental program of its kind, we’re taking the next step to help these children not just survive, but thrive into adulthood.

A television station in Charlotte did a report on what it is like to be on the receiving end of a heart when it is needed. The reporter spoke to the mom of a daughter who received one at the Charlotte hospital.

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