JEFFERSON PARISH (WWL-TV) – Staff members at Ochsner Hospital lined the hall Friday as Jarrius Robertson walked out the hospital with his father and brother. It had been almost a month since his successful liver transplant.
He wants everyone to know his recovery is going well and he has a message for fans who’ve supported him through his recovery.
“Thank you for supporting me, praying for me, and everything,” Jarrius said. “I love you guys, and I will be back on the Saints sideline.”
The 15-year-old is already predicting his return to his role as Saints superfan and hype man, but it’s been a long road to get here. He waited for more than a year for a liver transplant to treat his chronic liver disease, biliary atresia.
“Knowing that people care, it keeps me to keep going and motivate other people. Never give up,” he said.
This is Jarrius’ second liver transplant. He had his first when he was just a year old, and his transplant team had anticipated a difficult surgery. Instead, Dr. John Seal said it went well, and that Jarrius’s attitude has helped in his recovery.
“Despite being really, really sick, his personality rose above all of that, and he is a hometown hero,” Dr. Seal said of Jarrius.
He’s spent the last four weeks under the watchful eyes of the staff at Ochsner. The surgery on April 30 involved 16 doctors and nurses and lasted nearly six hours.
“There really is a long road ahead. I expect he’s going to feel a lot better and he already does feel a lot better than he did before, but transplant is sort of a lifelong condition,” said Dr. Seal.
Jarrius’ parents, Patricia Hoyal and Jordy Robertson, said they’re forever grateful to the family that made the decision to donate their child’s liver. Jarrius needed a pediatric liver because of his small size.
“I pray every night that I get to meet the mom and the dad, because they’re a blessing to me and my child,” said Hoyal. “I just want them to meet Jarrius personally, so they can see their child does live on and we are so grateful and so humble.”
Robertson echoed her sentiment, speaking directly to the family of the donor.
“Your family is a part of our family now. Our family will always be a part of your family,” he said.
While Jarrius continues to recover, he said his work isn’t done. He’ll keep working to raise awareness about organ donation. His slogan is, “It takes lives, to save lives.”
“Knowing that people care, it keeps me to keep going to motivate other people. Never give up,” Jarrius said.
Jarrius will need to continue regular appointments with his team of doctors to monitor his progress, but he didn’t waste any time getting back into the swing of things.
Saints’ coach, Sean Payton, invited Jarrius to attend the team’s first meeting of OTA’s. Jarrius tweeted out that he and Payton are getting the team ready for the season. He also promises fans he’ll be back on the sideline this coming season.