PERFECT MATCH: Following transplant, grateful dad turns attention to others with illnesses

Published 12:14 am Saturday, May 6, 2017

LUTCHER — Jordy Robertson had been waiting 13 years for this call.

When it came, though, he wasn’t nearly ready.

Jordy Robertson

On April 28, Jordy and his famous son, Jarrius “J.J.” Robertson, who has been billed as the ultimate Saints fan, were preparing to head to LaPlace for the St. Joan of Arc Catholic School fair.

It was another great opportunity for the duo to tout their cause — organ donation.

Jarrius “J.J.” Robertson

J.J., who just turned 15, has a chronic liver disease called biliary atresia, which has threatened his life and stunted his growth. After undergoing a partial liver transplant when he was 1, J.J. spent a year in a coma.

Throughout 2016 J.J. became a media sensation when the Saints “adopted” him as their No. 1 fan and his fame spread across the nation.

Back home in Lutcher, though, J.J. was still a kid in need of a new liver.

It was about 7:30 p.m. Friday night when Jordy’s phone rang.

“They called and said they might have a liver for him, to pack our bags and they would let us know in about an hour,” Jordy said. “Well, I couldn’t wait around for an hour.”

The family quickly packed its bags and headed to New Orleans.

“We got to Highway. 51 in LaPlace and he remembered he forgot his game,” Jordy said. “So we turned around.”

After another call to the Ochsner people, the family decided just to go ahead to the fair.

“We’re walking around talking to people and they’re prepping for his liver transplant,” Jordy said.

Finally, around midnight, Jordy got the call telling him to bring J.J. to the hospital at 5 a.m.

“He wasn’t nervous or anything,” Jordy said. “He was just ready.”

On a whim, Jordy pulled out his cell phone to record his sleepy and cranky son making his way into the hospital and posted it on his Facebook page. It quickly went viral.

“I was just asking for prayers,” he said. “It got over a million views.”

After a lengthy delay, J.J. went into surgery at 6 p.m. April 29. Told it would last from eight to 10 hours, Jordy was stunned when it was over in six.

“The doctors said it was a perfect match,” he said. “Everything is going great.”

Little J.J. faces a long recovery, however. He will remain at Ochsner for two to three weeks, then the family will move to a house near the hospital for a time.

“They’re real worried about keeping him from infection,” Jordy said.

The Robertsons’ other fight will continue, as well.

Jordy said they will continue to fight for organ donation awareness through his web site, encouraging people to become organ donors.

Jordy said he doesn’t know who gave his son a second chance at life. All he knows is, he and J.J. are grateful.

“That young man, whoever he was, saved five lives that day,” Jordy said. “That’s what’s important.”

Jordy plans to take up another cause for children battling chronic illness, education. J.J. is an eighth grader at Lutcher High School, but obviously can’t finish the school year.

“Something has to be done for these kids,” he said. “That’s my next fight.”