Greg Olsen’s 8-year-old son TJ underwent successful heart transplant surgery on Friday, eight days after he was placed on the transplant list.
The former NFL tight end announced TJ’s impending surgery via social media early on Friday:
Olsen later provided an update, saying doctors “are very happy” with TJ’s surgery. He also thanked the family of the person whose heart was used in the surgery:
We also want to ask that everyone takes a second to pray for our donor family. Their selflessness during a tragic time gave our boy a chance at life. We don’t know who they are, but we will forever be grateful for everyday we get to have with Tj
❤️ Olsen Family
— Greg Olsen (@gregolsen88) June 4, 2021
Olsen’s last update came three hours later via Instagram, thanking everyone nationwide who supported him and his family.
Olsen on May 24 said his son’s heart was “reaching its end,” and that the family was looking at options, including placing TJ on a transplant list.
TJ was born in 2012 with the congenital disease left heart syndrome, which affects normal blood flow through the heart. He has lived with a “modified heart” for the majority of his life and had already undergone four heart surgeries — including three open-heart surgeries prior to the age of 3 — before a pacemaker was installed.
Shortly after TJ and twin sister Talbot were born in 2012, Olsen and his wife Kara founded The HEARTest Yard — a foundation that provides personalized in-home healthcare for children at Levine Children’s Hospital with congenital heart disease — to help families in similar situations as theirs. The Olsens also donated $2.5 million to the Levine cardiac care center in Charlotte, N.C., which opened in December 2020.
TJ has been in the care of doctors there since it opened.