Wisconsin Parents Plead for Liver Donor to Save 5-Month-Old’s Life

Baby Marcus

WAUWATOSA, Wis. - It is a race against the clock. The parents of a 5-month-old boy named Marcus are making a public plea for help.

Marcus is living with liver failure and is in desperate need of a liver donor. His parents, Whitney McLean and Tony Albers, say Marcus has just weeks to live without the organ, according to WITI.

Marcus has been hooked up to machines at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin for three weeks and counting. So far, attempts to find a donor have not worked.

Possible candidates must have O blood type, weigh less than 150 pounds, younger than 40, in good health, and not recently pregnant.

Doctors only need 25 percent of the liver and said it will grow back within six months.

"We just took his 5-month picture. Little different from the 4-month one. Yeah," Albers told WITI.

But instead of growing stronger and bigger, little Marcus is doing the opposite.

"The last couple weeks have been really rough. His health - he has as good day and then he has a bad day," Albers said.

Marcus suffers from Immunodeficiency 47 - a rare genetic disorder. There are just twelve known cases in the world passed down through the mother. Only baby boys are at risk of showing symptoms.

Baby Marcus

"My grandmother had all girls, my mom had all girls," said McLean.

The disease essentially attacks the liver - giving patients just weeks to live.

Unable to donate part of their own livers, McLean and Albers found a donor for Marcus. But shortly before the transplant was scheduled for Tuesday morning, April 2, they received devastating news. It was not a perfect match.

"We thought we'd be talking about him in surgery right now -  and please have your prayers, because he is in surgery," McLean said.

Now the Waukesha parents are back to square one.

"Waiting is the hardest part," McLean said.

"The helplessness feeling, is what it is," Albers said.

The couple hopes to give their young son a second chance.

"We'll keep fighting and hopefully he'll hang on," McLean said. "He's fighting so we have to fight."

"Exactly, is how I feel about it," Albers said.

In order to be a candidate for liver donation, you must meet the following criteria:

  • O blood type
  • Weigh less than 150 pounds
  • Be less than 40 years old
  • Must be in good health (no smoking or drinking)
  • Person cannot be recently pregnant

Doctors need just 25 percent of your liver - and say it will grow back completely within six months.

If you believe you may be a donor candidate, please call one of the following numbers: 414-805-1437 or 414-805-1438

3 comments

  • Melissa Little

    I meet all the requirements but currently weigh 160.. is it possible to still be a donor if I’m only 10 LBS over? Also does it matter that I am not located in Wisconsin but in a different state?

  • tomkat53

    O blood type
    Weigh less than 150 pounds
    Be less than 40 years old
    Must be in good health (no smoking or drinking)
    Person cannot be recently pregnant
    If someone doesn’t tick all the boxes, but is a PERFECT MATCH, they would still be refused? That doesn’t seem ogical.
    For example..
    I am O blood type
    I weigh 195
    I’m 48
    I’m in good health.
    I’m male, so no pregnancy…
    If I’m a PERFECT MATCH, I’d be rejected?

    • Joy Rose

      Likely. The intent here is for the donor to survive the surgery and the donated piece to actually function properly and grow in properly, and both age and weight will impact liver function.

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