CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Former Carolina Panthers star tight end Greg Olsen shared Monday morning a new video update of his 8-year-old son as he continues to recover after his heart transplant surgery.
In the video, Olsen’s son TJ thanked everyone for thinking of him and praying for him.
“Hey everybody, thank you for thinking of me. Thank you for praying with me,” TJ Olsen said. “We love you guys.”
On Friday, Olsen tweeted his son’s road to recovery had started and that he was out of surgery and in the intensive care unit.
He said the doctors were very happy with how the surgery went.
Friday morning, Olsen shared that a donor match had been found for his son’s heart transplant.
In an emotional post on Instagram, the retired tight end announced that the day his family has “prayed for has arrived.”
Olsen said they were alerted Thursday night that there was a donor match for TJ to receive a heart transplant and asked for everyone’s prayers as his son embarks on the next step of his journey.
“Walking our little boy, with tears of hope and fear in our eyes, was one of the toughest moments of our lives,” Olsen tweeted. “We ask for everyone’s prayers for TJ and his amazing team of doctors and nurses.”
The encouraging news came days after Olsen announced his son was placed on the transplant list.
TJ was born in 2012 with a congenital heart defect that required four surgeries, including three open-heart procedures and the installation of a pacemaker.
Last week, Olsen shared in a series of tweets that his son has survived with a modified heart for his first 8 years of life, but that his heart was “reaching its end” and it “ultimately could lead to a transplant.”
Now, TJ got the new heart he needed.
“TJ has a long road ahead of him but today is a huge step forward,” Olsen tweeted. “From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for the outpouring of support through this entire journey.”
Levine Children’s Hospital also shared a message on Facebook about TJ’s surgery and his road recovery.
“As recently announced, there was a donor match identified for former Carolina Panthers player Greg Olsen and his wife Kara’s 8-year-old son, TJ, and he has received a heart transplant. Like all transplant patients, it will take time for TJ to recover from this complex procedure. The pediatric heart team at Levine Children’s Hospital is ensuring he receives the highest level of clinical, compassionate care during this critical time, as we do for all patients. We are also thinking of the donor family, who gave a selfless gift that provided a child a second chance at life,” the Facebook post read.
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