Former Hills TE Urges Lawmakers to Pass Law to Help Newborns
Greg Olsen, who plays of the NFL's Carolina Panthers, pushed North Carolina lawmakers this week to approve a bill that would make a certain test mandatory for newborns. Olsen's son T.J. was born with a heart defect.
Panthers tight end Greg Olsen addressed members of the North Carolina House of Representatives Tuesday, WCNC.com reported.
Olsen urged them to approve legislation that would make pulse oximetry tests mandatory for newborns.
The $5 test measures oxygen levels in a baby's blood.
"It's the hardest thing we've ever had to deal as a family," Olsen told the television station.
The House of Representatives is epxected to approve the legislation, the website reported. The state senate would need to approve the legislation before North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory could sign it into law.
Olsen's son T.J. was born last October with a condition known as hypoplastic left heart syndrome. The left side of his heart didn't fully develop while the was in utero. He was diagnosed while in utero.
"Our son, if [this condition] went undiagnosed, undetected would have died," Olsen testified to the House.
T.J. went through a seven-hour long surgery to correct the condition only a few days after he was born.
"It was rough, he didn't look great," Olsen said. "It's hard to see your 2-day-old baby in that condition."
"We said on our Christmas card: Christmas is the time to count your blessings' and that's 100 percent how we feel right now," Olsen's wife Kara said.
Olsen, the older brother of Wayne Hills quarterback Kevin Olsen, was named to USA Today's All-Joe team earlier this month. The team honors those NFL players who have been deemed hard workers and who don't regularly get media coverage for their work ethics.