It has been an honor and joy to see what Greg Olsen has been sharing, giving everyone updates about his son. It must’ve been such a roller coaster of emotions in this process being in the hospital and, as he mentioned on May 28, it was the “official start to our journey on the heart transplant list. We don’t know how long it will be, but we have started the race.”
“Please keep our boy TJ in your prayers,” Olsen also said in that May 28 post. “They work.”
Since then, prayers have been answered in this race as the painful, difficult process has lead to joy for this family. On June 16, less than two weeks after the race to find a heart transplant was complete, another step in the race led to this moment of celebration:
June 16. A moment that will go down in history for this family.
“Ever since TJ was admitted into the ICU a little less than a month ago in heart failure, we would lay in bed at night and talk about ‘ringing the bell’!,” Olsen said in the Instagram post. “We didn’t know what that journey would look like or how long it would take, but he promised @karaolsen29 and I that he was going to ring it. TJ’s positive attitude and selflessness throughout has been an inspiration to us all. Never did he feel sorry for him self or play the victim. All he did was talk about what the future held and the things he looked forward to doing.”
“Today we ‘rang the bell’, and for the first time our family (is) whole again,” Olsen said. “To everyone who prayed for our little buddy and sent us words of encouragement and support. All we can say is THANK YOU and WE 💚 YOU ALL…The Olsen Family #playfortj“.
The Olsens knew the heaviness and gravity of this situation for everyone involved.
“It is not lost on us that a life must be lost for his life to be saved,” Olsen also mentioned in the May 28 post. “Our hearts break with the thought. We pray that all families involved find peace through this difficult process.”
The amount of prayer, the amount of love, the amount of support is such an incredible example, especially in today’s day and age, of coming together for a common cause out of love, grace, and humility.
That moment when TJ’s siblings found out their brother was able to get a donor, that moment was precious and priceless:
“Exactly 1 week ago, we were notified that we received an offer for a heart transplant,” Olsen said in the Instagram post. “A special angel donor, somewhere, allowed Tj to share the news himself w/ Tate and Talbot. We are forever grateful ❤️💚”.
Families came together to support the Olsen family through the adversity and celebrated with them with this celebration.
- “🙌🏾 God is good!!!” Jonathan Stewart commented on Olsen’s post of TJ ringing the bell.
- “What an amazing young man!!” Travis Kelce commented. “🙌🏻🙌🏻 a true inspiration”
- “We’re so proud of you TJ!” Levine Children’s Hospital commented. “We’re glad you’re home – enjoy time with your siblings and your dog!”
- “That just warms my ❤️ seeing him ring that bell,” Charles Tillman commented.
- “Let’s gooooo TJ!!” the NFL Player’s Association commented. “A warrior 💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼”.
- “GOD is GREAT!” @coachk_26 commented.
Charlie Lapastora is a sports/news multimedia journalist who’s reported, written, produced, anchored, shot video/edited on different NBC, ABC, and FOX shows in multiple TV markets, along with digital & new media companies. Charlie has traveled the country telling national sports, news, feature, and original stories on a cable news network, airing on top 10 TV markets, satellite radio, and digital platforms. He is passionate about his faith, family—being a husband to whom he calls the G.O.A.T. of women—about reppin’ his home state of Michigan and Detroit teams (yes, including the Lions), good coffee, and loves how sports brings people together. He’s traveled the world leading and coaching sports camps and has also worked at the Detroit Pistons and LA Clippers’ NBA teams.
- 1 “Please keep our boy TJ in your prayers,” Olsen also said in that May 28 post. “They work.”
- 2 “Today we ‘rang the bell’, and for the first time our family (is) whole again,” Olsen said. “To everyone who prayed for our little buddy and sent us words of encouragement and support. All we can say is THANK YOU and WE 💚 YOU ALL…The Olsen Family #playfortj“.
- 3 That moment when TJ’s siblings found out their brother was able to get a donor, that moment was precious and priceless:
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