WAUWATOSA – It's a race against the clock. The parents of a 5 month old boy named Marcus make a public plea for help. Marcus lives with liver failure – and desperately needs a liver donor. His parents, Whitney McLean and Tony Albers, say that Marcus only has weeks to live without the donor.
Marcus has been connected to machines at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin for three weeks and counts. So far, attempts to find a donor have not worked.
"We just took his 5-month picture. A little different from the 4-month one. Yes," said Albers.
But instead of getting stronger and bigger, the little Marcus does the opposite.
"The last few weeks have been very rough. His health – he has a good day and then he has a bad day," Albers said.
Marcus suffers from immunodeficiency 47 – a rare genetic disorder. There are only twelve known cases in the world gone down through the mother. Only baby boys are at risk of showing symptoms.
"My grandmother had all the girls my mother had all girls," McLean said.
The disease essentially attacks the liver – giving patients only weeks to live. McLean and Albers couldn't donate a portion of their own lives, but found a donor to Marcus. But shortly before the transplant was scheduled for Tuesday morning on April 2, they received devastating news. It was not a perfect match.
"We thought we'd talk about him in surgery right now – and please have your prayers because he's in surgery," McLean said.
Now Waukesha parents are back to square one.
"Waiting is the hardest part" McLean said.
"The helplessness that feels is what it is," said Albers.
The couple hopes to give their young son another chance.
"We will continue to fight and hopefully he will hang on," mclaan said. "He's fighting so we have to fight."
"That's exactly how I feel about it," Albers said.
To be a candidate for liver donation, you must meet the following criteria:
- O blood type
- Wall less than 150 pounds
- Be less than 40 years old
- Must have good health (smoking or drinking)
- The person cannot be recently pregnant
Doctors have only 25 percent of your liver – and say that it will grow all the way back within six months.
If you think you may be a donor candidate, you are encouraged to call one of the following numbers: 414-805-1437 or 414-805-1438