By LOUIS C. HOCHMAN
Over just 12 hours, supporters raised more than $32,000 for a Montclair man suffering from a severe and at times life-threatening case of COVID-19 this week.
Montclair resident Norma Tassy wrote in a GoFundMe campaign that her 22-year-old son, Jordan, was diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 15. The next day, she said, he left the family’s home by ambulance, headed for the Mountainside hospital emergency room.
“At the time, we believed he would be treated and released,” Norma Tassy wrote. “By mid-day on the 16th Jordan was on a ventilator and we were told that his chance of survival were slim.”
But there are meaningful signs of improvement. Councilman Peter Yacobellis, who has been in touch with the family, posted on Facebook Monday, March 22 that Jordan Tassy’s pneumonia has started to clear up, and his blood oxygen has gotten better. He remained on a ventilator and sedated in Mountainside’s ICU.
At Yacobellis’s suggestion, Tassy started the fundraiser Monday. Donations poured in.
“I’m completely blown away, Montclair,” Yacobellis wrote in a post to the “Secret Montclair” Facebook group. “Norma and I talked last week about launching this and both thought even a $10,000 goal would be a stretch. But look how this town showed up to take care of one of its own. In less than 12 hours we raised over $32,000 for Jordan, his medical bills and his future. Truly astonishing but also not, because Montclair has that ‘It Takes a Village’ mentality and heart, clearly.”
Several hundred donors contributed. Two anonymous donors gave $1,000 each.
Jordan Tassy became known to many of his Montclair neighbors just weeks ago, during the township’s recycling pickup suspension, when he posted an open offer online to deliver recyclables to the township’s Community Services yard for a small fee. “Some of us have children, jobs and other responsibilities that make the transportation of our plastic and paper waste unrealistic. And then what? We’re supposed to settle with just throwing our recycling away with the rest of our waste? I say no!” he wrote. He booked dozens of pickups, he said at the time.
Norma Tassy wrote on the GoFundme her son faces a long hospitalization, and that she expects a large amount of unmet medical expenses after his release.
“All day, I speak to Jordan with my heart and I say ‘You are the light in my eyes and the love in my heart. Please Jordan, please come back to us.’ I need him. His family needs him. The world needs him,” she wrote. “I love and thank you all for making this unbearable burden a tiny bit lighter.”