By writer to www.reviewjournal.com
Throughout an NFL profession spanning 14 seasons, Greg Olsen caught 742 passes for 8,683 yards and 60 touchdowns, performed within the Tremendous Bowl and was a three-time Professional Bowl choice. However when it was discovered his 8-year-old son would require a coronary heart transplant, all that Olsen had achieved on the soccer area should have appeared irrelevant.
At that time, all you need is a comforting phrase. Reassurance, if you will discover it, that every thing goes to be all proper.
The previous Bears, Panthers and Seahawks tight finish discovered it in speaking to Simon Keith, the previous UNLV soccer star who has undergone two coronary heart transplants and a kidney transplant. And for whom every thing has turned out all proper.
“I’ve been teaching him by the method,” Keith, 56, stated Friday when a donor coronary heart turned out there and little TJ Olsen was rushed into surgical procedure.
Keith stated he and Greg Olsen have been chatting for a number of years. One in all Olsen’s finest friends on the Panthers was middle Ryan Kalil, who has a lifelong curiosity within the movie business and co-founded a manufacturing firm with NBA star Blake Griffin. One in all their initiatives is a function movie about Keith.
It was a traditional case case of my folks getting collectively together with your folks. Solely the subject material was far more severe.
“The explanation Ryan launched me to Greg is that TJ was sick, and that sooner or later TJ was going to wish a coronary heart transplant,” Keith stated.
TJ Olsen was born with a coronary heart defect that progressively worsened.
“They put him within the hospital and he went to the very high of the (transplant) record,” Keith stated. “He was fairly sick. They figured it will be two to 4 months to get the decision, they usually received the decision in seven days. He was standing 1A, probably the most important you may get.”
Keith’s position was just about the identical as Greg Olsen’s throughout Cam Newton’s MVP season when Olsen turned the go-to man when powerful yards have been required. Solely as an alternative of powerful yards it was powerful questions. And trustworthy solutions.
“Simply someone they might bounce questions off,” Keith stated of being a sounding board for Olsen and his spouse, Kara. “What about this, how does this work, what do you concentrate on this? — that type of position. Form of athlete to athlete. Reduce all of the (nonsense), what’s gonna occur, how is that this going to work? That type of dialog.”
Keith stated Olsen appeared shocked to be taught the previous soccer participant had lived 32 years together with his first transplanted coronary heart. “He was blown away by that. The excellent news is that for those who get (a coronary heart transplant) as a younger child, they’ll final actually lengthy.”
By Monday morning, TJ Olsen already was sitting up in mattress and sending out thank-you messages through Instagram. “Hey everyone, thanks for considering of me. Thanks for praying with me,” he stated whereas tapping his chest and the gadgets monitoring his new coronary heart.
Somebody has an replace pic.twitter.com/L1Zk2AgHpd
— Greg Olsen (@gregolsen88) June 7, 2021
“TJ goes to do nice,” Keith stated. “He’s an athletic, energetic child.”
Keith, a former first-round draft choose of the MISL’s Cleveland Crunch, has at all times been reluctant to debate his personal braveness or efforts in guiding others by a tough and life-altering course of. But when poked and prodded (one thing to which he’s accustomed), he’ll begrudgingly deflect reward onto his foundation and golf tournament that has raised thousands and thousands to help kids who’ve undergone organ transplants.
You don’t need to be a Professional Bowl tight finish to learn from Simon Keith’s expertise and humanity.
“I speak to a whole bunch of households a yr,” he stated after an extended pause. “It’s a privilege. I’m grateful to be in that place. I’ve been by (a tough scenario), so for those who can share your well being slightly bit, it’s good.”
Because it says on the heading of his basis’s web site, the beat goes on.
We additionally need to ask that everybody takes a second to wish for our donor household. Their selflessness throughout a tragic time gave our boy an opportunity at life. We don’t know who they’re, however we are going to endlessly be pleased about on a regular basis we get to have with Tj
❤️ Olsen Household
— Greg Olsen (@gregolsen88) June 4, 2021