CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — We’re not crying, you’re crying! Former Carolina Panther Greg Olsen’s son, TJ, hit a major milestone on Wednesday in his heart transplant journey.
The former Panthers tight end posted a video to Twitter Wednesday, showing his son ringing the bell at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, marking a long-awaited, important day for the family.
“Since the day TJ was admitted into the ICU we talked about the day we could ‘ring the bell,'” Greg Olsen tweeted. “Today was that day! We are finally whole again and we couldn’t be more thankful!”
On Wednesday, Olsen also thanked everyone for the support and prayers.
Olsen said his family was alerted earlier this month 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 has undergone three open-heart surgeries in his life and has survived with his modified heart.
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.