After being gunned down at 19, Jersey City man enhanced lives by being organ donor


After tragically being gunned down at 19 years old, a Jersey City man enhanced dozens of lives by being an organ and tissue donor, the NJ Sharing Network revealed.

Jordan Herron with his mother, Tracey Tullock. Photo courtesy of NJ Sharing Network.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Jordan [Herron]’s legacy will live on forever. He exemplified the giving spirit that exists in our diverse communities throughout New Jersey,” NJ Sharing Network President and CEO Joseph S. Roth said in a statement.

“Our NJ Sharing Network family celebrates and honors Jordan and all donor heroes for their selfless decision to save and enhance the lives of countless others who now have more holidays, birthdays and special moments to share with their loved ones.”

Herron, 19, helped care for his younger sister, Isabella, who suffers from muscular dystrophy and epilepsy. He also had big dreams of becoming a firefighter to follow in the footsteps of his uncle, Jersey City Fire Department Capt. Bryan Tullock.

“From the time he was a little boy, Jordan always told me his goal in life was to help others in need. He had a joyful smile and down-to-earth personality that everyone loved,” added Tracey Tullock, Herron’s mother.

On July 20th, 2019, senseless street violence claimed Herron’s life. According to many neighborhood parents who were nearby during the shooting spree, he was a hero as for yelling to others to hide behind parked cars for safety as shots rang out.

“I loved him with all my heart, and our family has felt such an overwhelming loss. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Tullock recalled.

The only positive aspect of this story is that Herron was a registered organ and tissue donor.

His tissue donation has already enhanced the lives of 38 people from around the world: his corneas were transplanted internationally, and his saphenous veins were transplanted in Alabama. His tendons, skin, and bones were also donated.

According to Tullock, she had spoken with her son about organ donation just two years before he passed away.

“We had a conversation about being an organ donor while we were sitting at the MVC. He asked me if I checked the organ donor box, and I told him, ‘Absolutely because mommy wants to always help others – whatever I can give, I will give,'” she recalled.

She never knew if Herron decided to check the box until she was notified by Natasha Rosa, Donation Resource Coordinator at NJ Sharing Network, while he was in the hospital.

“I was so impressed and proud of Jordan. Natasha’s words helped ease my pain. Jordan knew it was the right thing to do, and I was honored and happy to follow his decision to give the gift of life to others. It was a humbling moment for me,” Tullock said.

“As a parent, you often wonder if your children listen to you. Jordan showed me he was listening when he made the decision to register as a donor.”

Tracey and her family continue to keep Jordan’s memory alive. Each July, they continue to celebrate Jordan’s birthday with a barbecue.

They also proudly wear bracelets and t-shirts they had made featuring blue and orange, Herron’s favorite colors, and inscribed with “LL 23” to stand for “Long Live Jordan” with a tribute to Michael Jordan’s #23 jersey.

Tullock also enjoys the weekends when she helps care for Jordan’s son, Kayden Jordan Herron, who was born just three months after Jordan passed away.

“Isabella and I feel like Jordan is by our side, especially when Kayden is with us. It keeps our hearts going,” Tullock said.

According to United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), nearly 4,000 New Jersey residents are waiting for a life-saving transplant, and 68 percent are people of color.

Just one organ and tissue donor can save eight lives and enhance the lives of over 75 people.

NJ Sharing Network leads local public education and awareness efforts throughout the year with its #DonationNeedsDiversity campaign, an initiative to empower multicultural communities to become more involved in saving and healing lives through organ and tissue donation.

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