Father of High School Quarterback Robbie Roper Speaks Out About the Real Cause of Player's Death_freckle removal circa 1930

Olivia Jakiel·4 min read


The father of Georgia high school quarterback Robbie Roper, who died in December at age 18, is speaking out about his untimely death.

It was initially reported that the talented player died due to complications from routine shoulder surgery, however, in a USA Today Sportsinterview published Wednesday, his father James Roper revealed the chain of events that led to his son's tragic death.

"I just wanted him remembered as a perfect kid. I just didn't want anybody thinking that he had some abnormality when they thought about him," James said when asked why he waited so long to address the cause of his son's death.

James told the outlet the 2022 college football recruit had urea cycle disorder (UCD), a rare genetic disorder that can result in elevated blood ammonia levels that become toxic, according to the Medical Journal of Australia. Something, he said medical professionals overlooked.

RELATED: 'Remarkable' High School Football Player, Who Had Just Accepted College Scholarship, Dies in Crash

Robbie Roper Scholarship Fund https://www.gofundme.com/f/robbie-roper-scholarship---fund
Robbie Roper Scholarship Fund https://www.gofundme.com/f/robbie-roper-scholarship---fund


Patrick Moore, an attorney representing the Roper family who specializes in medical malpractice, told USA Today Sportsthat the disorder can be triggered by corticosteroids or can be set off by a surgical procedure – "fasting beforehand, anesthesia and physical trauma." Robbie underwent shoulder surgery on Dec. 14.

PEOPLE's request for additional comment from Moore was not immediately returned.

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The weekend before Robbie's death, the family had traveled to St. Augustine, Florida for a family reunion, James told the outlet.

"He was fine,'' he said. "He was on the beach, laughing and carrying on and having a good time on Saturday. And then Sunday he started throwing up, and we just thought he had a stomach flu or something. You know, you don't rush to the hospital just for throwing up.''


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