The eight-year-old son of Former Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen could be in need of a heart transplant.
Olson, now an NFL analyst for Fox Sports, published a tweet about his son TJ’s struggle with a congenital heart defect. TJ previously underwent three open heart procedures and also had a pacemaker installed.
Unfortunately, it seems his heart is reaching its end. We are currently working through the process to determine our next steps, which ultimately could lead to a heart transplant— Greg Olsen (@gregolsen88) May 24, 2021
The gut-wrenching news is not a surprise to Panthers fans who have followed along with TJ’s struggle.
Per ESPN, Olsen and his wife, Kara, established the HEARTest Yard initiative shortly after the birth of TJ and his twin sister, Talbot, to raise money for less fortunate families going through crises like theirs.
Olson, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, has donated millions to the foundation and to the construction of a 25,000-square-foot facility at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte known as the “HEARTest Yard Congenital Heart Center.” TJ is in the care of doctors at the facility, noted ESPN.
“We don’t know how long we will be within these hospital walls,” Olsen wrote on Twitter. “We do know that we are in full control of our attitudes and our outlook.”
“TJ has been a fighter since birth,” Olsen wrote in thanking everyone for their prayers. “We are going to get through this as a family and be better off as a result of this experience.”
Olsen made Charlotte his permanent home even after spending the last year of his career with the Seattle Seahawks.
The Miami product put up 8,683 yards and 60 touchdowns on 742 catches throughout his career. While Olson was a Chicago Bears draft pick, and spent the first four years of his career there, he is clearly known for his production in Carolina. That included five straight 800-yard seasons from 2012 to 2016 (and three straight 1,000-seasons from 2014-2016).
A model of consistency, Olson suited up for all 16 games in nine straight years from 2008 to 2016. His finest year in Carolina came in 2015 when he grabbed 77 passes for 1,104 yards and seven scores.