Greg Olsen's son T.J., who was born with a rare condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome, received a new heart on Friday

By Maria Pasquini
June 07, 2021 05:15 PM
TJ Olsen
T.J. Olsen
| Credit: Greg Olsen/instagram

Greg Olsen's 8-year-old son T.J. is thanking everyone who supported him as he underwent heart surgery last week.

On Monday, three days following the surgery on Friday, the former NFL tight end, 36, shared a special video recording of his son from the hospital, writing that T.J. had "a message for everyone out there."

"Hi, everybody," said T.J. — who was born with a rare condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome, meaning he had just half a heart. "Thank you for thinking of me. Thank you for praying with me."

"We love you guys, bye," he added.

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In an update over the weekend, Olsen wrote that he and his wife Kara were still waiting for T.J. to wake up following the heart transplant, but that "all early signs have been positive."

"TJ is resting comfortably following his transplant yesterday. His team of doctors and nurses have been incredible. He was able to have his chest closed today and we're hopeful he can start to wake up over the next day or so," he captioned an image of T.J. in his hospital bed. 

"Your prayers and well wishes have been working and we're beyond grateful," he added. "Our boy is a fighter and we can wait to talk to him!"

On May 24, Olsen revealed that T.J. had been hospitalized due to issues with his heart.

"As many of you know, our son TJ has faced serious heart issues since birth. TJ has already undergone 3 open heart surgeries and has survived with a modified heart for his first 8 years," the retired athlete shared in an emotional social media post. "Unfortunately, it seems his heart is reaching its end."

Four days later, Olsen — who is also dad to T.J.'s twin sister Talbot and older son Tate — shared that T.J. had been officially added to the heart transplant list.

"We don't know how long it will be, but we have started the race," he wrote at the time. "It is not lost on us that a life must be lost for his life to be saved. Our hearts break with the thought."

Greg Olsen
Credit: Greg Olsen/instagram

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When it was time for his son's heart transplant on Friday, Olsen wrote that the "day we have prayed for has arrived."  

"We were alerted last night that there was a donor match for TJ to receive his heart transplant," he wrote, alongside a photo of himself and his wife holding their son's hand at the hospital. "Walking our little boy, with tears of hope and fear in our eyes, was one of the toughest moments of our lives."

Olsen added, "We ask for everyone's prayers for TJ and his amazing team of doctors and nurses. 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."