Greg Olsen, NFL Tight End for 14 Seasons, Reveals Son T.J., 8, Hospitalized for a Rare Condition

Olowokandi Fiyin
May 25, 2021
12:30 P.M.

Former NFL player Greg Olsen shared heartbreaking news about his son T.J.’s health battle. The Carolina Panthers alum revealed that the 8-year-old might need a heart transplant.


Former NFL tight end Greg Olsen shared a heartbreaking update about his son T.J. in an emotional, social media post. Olsen uploaded a lovely image of T.J. with his twin sister Talbot.

Alongside the lovely image, the former Carolina Panthers player shared that the past week was difficult for their family. He explained that his son, born with a heart defect, had already undergone three open-heart surgeries.

Greg Olsen during a game of the Seattle Seahawks against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on October 04, 2020 in Miami Gardens, Florida | Photo: Getty Images

Greg Olsen during a game of the Seattle Seahawks against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on October 04, 2020 in Miami Gardens, Florida | Photo: Getty Images

The iconic player revealed that the 8-year-old has been living with a modified heart for most of his life. However, the heart has stopped working, and T.J.’s condition is deteriorating. Olsen explained:

“We are currently working through the process to determine our next steps, which ultimately could lead to a heart transplant.”


The father-of-three appreciated fans for their overwhelming support and thanked the staff at Levine Children’s Hospital for their excellent care. Olsen admitted that he wasn’t sure how long the hospitalization would last.


Olsen retired from the game of football in January after 14 impressive seasons with the NFL.


However, he and his family were going to maintain a positive attitude. The 36-year-old concluded, describing his beloved son as a “fighter” and declaring that their family would come out better on the other side.

Little T.J. is indeed a fighter as he has lived an adventurous childhood amid his condition. The young boy served as a batboy for his brother Tate 2019 Little League, with Olsen serving as the coach.


T.J. was born in 2012 with a rare congenital heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome, meaning he has half a heart. Olsen and his wife Kara discovered the diagnosis months into her pregnancy with the twins.

Shortly after T.J. and Talbot were born, the doting parents created the HEARTest Yard initiative, a non-profit organization to help low-income families with kids battling the disease.


Olsen has reportedly donated millions and helped 20 families with in-home nurses to provide care for the children. In addition, the foundation is currently building a 25,000-square-foot facility at Levine Children’s Hospital.

The huge property would serve as HEARTest Yard Congenital Heart Center in Charlotte, where he and his family reside. Olsen retired from the game of football in January after 14 impressive seasons with the NFL.

He played his final season with the Seattle Seahawks. After retiring, Olsen became a full-time sports analyst for Fox working alongside host Curt Menefee on the network’s pregame coverage.

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