After heart transplant, son of ex-NFL player Greg Olsen shares message of thanks

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) – Former Carolina Panther Greg Olsen released a video Monday morning of his son, TJ, following his heart transplant last week.

“Hey everybody, thank you for thinking of me, thank you for praying with me,” TJ said in the video posted to Greg Olsen’s Twitter. “We love you guys, bye.”

Last week, doctors informed the Olsen family they had found a donor match for TJ’s heart transplant.

“Today is a day of mixed emotions,” Olsen said on Twitter. “A day we have prayed for has arrived.”

The former tight end said his family was alerted last Thursday night that there was a donor match for 8-year-old TJ to receive his heart transplant. Olsen said that TJ’s heart was “reaching its end” and that he could have to undergo a heart transplant after new complications appeared with his modified heart.

TJ Olsen has undergone three open-heart surgeries in his life and has survived with his modified heart.

“We ask for everyone’s prayers for TJ and his amazing team of doctors and nurses,” Greg Olsen continued. “TJ has a long road ahead of him but today is a huge step forward.”

“From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for the outpouring of support through this entire journey,” he said.

The former tight end and his wife Kara opened HEARTest Yard Congenital Heart Center at Atrium Health’s Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte last December.

The Olsens said TJ’s battle with a congenital heart defect is what motivated them to make the treatment process easier and less overwhelming for other families.

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