Jarrius Robertson, better known as JJ the Saints Super Fan, has a small stature because of a chronic liver disease called biliary atresia, which has affected his physical growth.
But he makes up for it with a big spirit and personality that is contagious to be near.
JJ and his father, Jordy Robertson, who live in St. James Parish, visited the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday and captivated employees.
At 14 he is larger than life.
When Sheriff James Pohlmann presented him with the badge of a sheriff’s deputy he immediately raised it high and began talking about how he was going to put bad guys “in his closet’’’ and said he could pepper spray them. But Sheriff Pohlmann joked with him, saying “We don’t pepper spray people anymore. We spray them with perfume.’’
The boy was invited to St. Bernard by Sheriff’s Dep. Richard Scheuermann, who has come to know the teen at Saints games, which Scheuermann and his father, Randy – who is also a sheriff’s deputy – attend.
Richard Scheuermann helped collect toys for JJ to bring to Tulane Medical Center’s children’s wing.
After meeting the sheriff and others at the department, JJ rode in a Humvee vehicle driven by Sgt. Chris Scheeler, who brought him to a department equipment warehouse where he wore a vest and toured the department’s mobile command center and a S.W.A.T. truck.
But when JJ got to talk over the public address system in a police car he was really having fun. “Pull over,’’ he told an imaginary driver on an imaginary road. “You’re going to jail. If you don’t pull over I’ll hit your car.’’
His father, Jordy, was loving seeing the boy have fun.
The father said JJ has been a regular in hospitals. He had a liver transplant when he was a year old, which left him in a coma for an entire year. From that point he has often been in a hospital and has had 13 surgeries.
He is on a list for another liver transplant.
The boy first met members of the New Orleans Saints when he was hospitalized at Ochsner Hospital and has become a regular at games and practices. That’s how he became JJ the Saints Super Fan.
Doing that and making excursions to the Sheriff’s Office and a Fire Department he visited has been good for the 14-year-old, the father said.
“It gets him out and keeps his spirits up,’’ Jordy Robertson said. “I try to keep him busy.’’
JJ is 10th on a list for a liver transplant, he said. “We’re close’’ and it could happen early next year, he said.
JJ admits he is enjoying going places, being interviewed and getting noticed.. “I am having a whole lot of fun,’’ the boy said. “I like being famous. Everybody knows you.”