Jae Head: An Actor with a Rare Congenital Heart Defect

Jae Head is an American actor who was born with, as he calls it, no Aorta and had open heart surgery when he was just 2 months old and yet again at 14 months. Still, he fought all odds in his life and made it to the film and television industry, where he found quite a lot of support for himself and gained a lot of fame and recognition. 

He is quite popular only by his nickname Jae by which most people call him and is also best known for his movie “The blind side”, where he played the role of Sean Junior “S.J. Apart from this movie he has also starred as Bo Miller, a young boy befriended by Tom Riggins in the television series Friday night Lights. 

However, people talk the most about his illness and what was the reason behind it. So here is everything you need to know about his illness and how he still managed to look at the brighter side of his life and become a star. 

Who is Jae Head?

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Matt Sayles/AP/Shutterstock (6335284ea) Jae Head Actor Jae Head at the 15th Annual Critics Choice Movie Awards, in Los Angeles 15th Annual Critics Choice Movie Awards Insider, Los Angeles, USA

Jae Head is an American actor who started his career as a child and is still acting in projects such as “Yellowstone”, “Bravetown”, “ The Bachelors”, and “Hell Girl”. He was also seen reuniting with Aaron at a super bowl party in February 2022. 

The 27-year-old actor was born on December 27, 1996, in Hamlin, Texas, United States. Jae had made his acting debut in How I met your Mother in 2005. In 2007 Head had a recurring role as Bo Miller in the TV series Friday Night Lights. He also starred in the movie “Hancock” in 2008, The Blindside in 2009, and Bravetown in 2015

Head has also appeared in episodes of the TV series MADtv and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In 2010 he was nominated for a Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film – Supporting Young Actor for The Blind Side.

Head talks about his rare heart condition

Head says what he was born with is so rare that the condition doesn’t have an actual name, but the doctors still told him that the closest thing that they have in the book is a congenital heart infection, hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is a birth defect that affects normal blood flow through the heart. As the baby develops during pregnancy, the left side of the heart does not form correctly.

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When a baby is born with such a heart condition, there are parts of the heart that are either severely underdeveloped or non-existent.

For Jae, the aorta, which is literally the big loop that goes over the top of the heart, was the size of a string when he was born, which equals only half the size of the heart. At that time, children who were born with it back in 1996, only 25% of the children survived.  He confessed that when he was born, the doctor said that the chances of Jae surviving were that of being struck by lightning twice in his life. 

So growing up in Texas with his dad as a coach and as a brother as an athlete was quite difficult for him as he says that he used to go to the practice matches and just sit there and watch them play as his health conditions didn’t quite support his body to be involved in sports. He would just go home and cry.

Jae’s positive approach towards his life

So a few months before he did blindside, he would just ask his doctor and his dad if he could play just for once, and they denied it every time he asked for it. But his cardiologist finally gave a heads up and told Jae to go ahead with it, which might also be good for him. 

So a few months before he did Blind Side, they finally allowed him to do it. And that sense of persistency of what he had built inside of him, he calls it a warrior mentality that he can’t ever quit in his life, and he often inspires people that no matter what happens and whatever gets in their way, they should remember why they started and should always keep fighting. 

If they do the right things, make the right decisions, and no matter what happens, keep an eye on the prize, they are going to get where they want to be. 

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Jae likes to find things that people can relate to. He loves it when people can DM him or comment on his posts and say, “I needed this motivation to get myself going this week”. He says that what he did is not going to matter, but who he touched and who he inspired is what’s going to matter. 

Jae head in Season 1, Episode 2 of How I met your mother

Jae Head plays the role of Leroy in this episode of How I met your Mother and still considers this role as his most successful one so far. Jae Head makes a guest appearance in this episode, and the role is still engraved in the minds of the viewers. 

The story of How I met your mother revolves around Ted Mosby, an architect who recounts to his children the events that led him to meet their mother. His journey is made more eventful by the presence of his friends Lily, Marshall, Robin, and Barney.

In this episode of How I met your mother, Future Ted recounts the events of the first episode to his kids in 2030. A week after accidentally telling Robin he loves her far too soon, Ted changes his stance and decides not to contact Robin on the pretext of wanting to give everyone the false impression that he is not in love with her anymore. However, after he finds out that Lily has officially met Robin and Robin, and Robin tells Lily she is still interested in him, Ted decides to continue pursuing her. As Lily tells him Robin doesn’t want a serious relationship, Ted vows to convince her he is “casual”. 

Jae Head, aka Leroy Ellenberg here, is depicted as a four-year-old kid in the arcadia. He adds a fun element to the scene as he has gotten inside the grab-a-prize machine and is stuck inside the game but is quite enjoying it. The people sympathize with him, but he is all chill and waving at the news reporters and the camera.  And when Ted makes fun of him, he shouts at Ted and says that “You’re all sweaty”. 

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Jae Head aka S.J. Tuhoy Jr. in the Blind Side

The Blind Side is a 2009 American biographical sports drama movie written and directed by John Lee Hancock. The movie is based on Michael Lewis’ book of the same name, which follows the story of an American football offensive lineman Michael Oher, who overcame the odds in his life and a difficult background to play in the NFL with the aid of his supportive parents  Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy.  With $309 million in box office receipts and a $29 million budget, the movie was a commercial success. 

However, the movie also received some negative comments and reviews from critics. Despite these conflicting opinions, Bullock’s performance received overwhelming acclaim, and he also received an Oscar for his performance. 

S.J., played by Jae Head, is Bullock’s on-screen son. S.J., the newest member of the Tuohy family, is particularly close with Michael. Head earned outstanding performance by a youth – male at the Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards when he was just 12 years old and gave a flawless performance as S.J. in “The Blind Side”. 

The real ‘SJ’ Tuohy from ‘The Blind Side’ plays for SMU

Larry Brown, head coach at SMU, just signed a movie star to play guard for the Mustangs in 2016-17.

Jae Head’s character in the 2009 smash blockbuster “The Blind Side,” Sean “SJ” Tuohy, spent three seasons playing basketball at Loyola (MD). The 6-foot-1, 180-pound guard will enroll at SMU as a graduate transfer to play football and basketball after graduating from the institution, according to his mother, Leigh Anne Tuohy. She was portrayed in the film by Sandra Bullock, who took home the Best Actress Oscar.

“I’m sad you can’t see my level of enthusiasm because I’m just giddy that our little SJ is going to take his fifth year of eligibility and play not only basketball but FOOTBALL as well at SMU and finish his Master’s degree there!” Leigh Anne Tuohy wrote on Instagram regarding the update.

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