Former NFL star Greg Olsen’s heartfelt message to ‘angel donor’ who gave 8-year-old son a ‘chance at life’


The son of former NFL veteran tight end Greg Olsen was recovering Saturday after successfully undergoing heart transplant surgery. 

Olsen revealed in a social media post on March 24 that his eight-year-old son TJ, who has suffered from health issues since birth, had reached a point where his heart was “reaching its end.” But just days later the former Carolina Panthers player shared the good news that his son was preparing for transplant surgery. 

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“Today is a day of mixed emotions. A day we have prayed for has arrived” he wrote on Instagram. “We were alerted last night that there was a donor match for TJ to receive his heart transplant. Walking our little boy, with tears of hope and fear in our eyes, was one of the toughest moments of our lives.” 

On Friday night Olsen provided an update on Twitter. 

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“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.”

Olsen took the opportunity to remember the donor who gave his son “a chance at life.” 

“To our generous angel donor, we don’t know who you are or where you lived. But know that [because] of your selflessness, our son TJ will have a chance at life. We pray your family finds peace and maybe one day our paths shall cross.” 

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TJ was born in October 2012 with a rare congenital heart condition known as hypoplastic left heart syndrome. He has undergone three open-heart surgeries in more than two years. 

The Panthers illuminated Bank of America Stadium Friday night in TJ’s favorite color.





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