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Sports Media

Greg Olsen 8-Year-Old Son, TJ Undergoes Heart Transplant

Greg Olsen
Greg Olsen/Instagram

Greg Olsen, recently retired Carolina Panther’s 8-year-old son received a heart transplant on June 4. News about his son’s heart transplant came two weeks after Olsen revealed on Instagram how his son’s

“…heart is reaching its end.”

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TJ Olsen was born with a rare heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome where 1 in 100 babies are born each year with congenital heart disease in America. TJ underwent his first open-heart surgery before he was three years old. In total, TJ has had three open-heart surgeries before the age of five. In 2017, Greg Olsen said

“We stand here today as parents of an almost 5-year-old boy who is happy and healthy.”


Now three years later, TJ’s rare heart defect took a turn for the worst. On May 24, Greg Olsen posted on Instagram how his family was planning their next steps moving forward to properly attend to his son’s heart. The next morning, Greg posted a picture of himself, his wife Kara, and TJ smiling in a hospital room before his son had a procedure to run tests on his heart before the heart transplant.

Days following the procedure, Greg posted appreciation posts to document their journey leading up to TJ’s heart transplant while asking for prayers for his son.

On the eighth day, Greg said his family received news that TJ has a heart donor match will proceed with his heart transplant.


On June 4, TJ had a successful heart transplant.

A few days after the heart transplant, TJ wanted to send a video message.


Greg Olsen posting the journey of his son’s health condition and even showing videos of his son in the hospital allows everyone to understand how other families have to attend to their child’s life-threatening birth defects. He is not only spreading awareness for hypoplastic left heart syndrome but he is showing the world that being an athlete in a well-known sport means much more than just stats. Olsen used his platform as a retired NFL player to create a foundation called the HEARTest Yard along with his wife to help other families to afford the expenses of bringing a nurse into their home while covering all health care expenses. Olsen’s vulnerability through social media allows everyone to understand what his family is going through and what TJ is going through.

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