Wisconsin parents plead for liver donor to save 5-month-old’s life

Posted at 2:22 PM, Apr 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-03 14:22:16-04

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.

If you believe you may be a donor candidate, please contact the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin on Facebook or visit