BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A little Louisiana celebrity paid a visit to the Capital City on Thursday.
Saints super fan, Jarrius "JJ" Robertson, visited doctors and nurses at Our Lady of the Lake to thank them on National Doctors' Day, Thursday, March 30. The 15-year-old superstar was born with biliary atresia, a chronic liver disease that stunts growth.
Robertson is known for playfully trash talking with a Panthers player during a game against the Saints in October of 2016.
Robertson had a liver transplant when he was 1-year-old and is currently waiting on another one. Robertson and his father, Jordy Robertson, also came to inspire others to become organ donors.
"The driving forces behind this is because we are able to utilize the spotlight platform we get, and what we have gotten already, to spread awareness with organ donation transplants while we sit and wait or while we fight for another transplant," said his father.
That's why the pair created the It Takes Lives to Save Lives Foundation.
According to the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency (LOPA), nearly half of Louisiana's population is registered to be an organ donor. Specifically, 2.2 million people over the age of 18 said yes to organ donation. LOPA's goal is to get the rest of the population to have positive conversations about organ donation.
"There is a huge need for multiple organs that are being transplanted," said Dr. Tomas Jacome, the trauma medical director at Our Lady of the Lake. "We have a nationwide list of 120,000 awaiting organ transplantation. We have at least 2,100 that are waiting within Louisiana. Unfortunately, 22 people on those lists die nationally every day awaiting organ transplantation."
Dr. Jacome said as an organ donor, individuals can potentially help up to seven or eight patients.