5-Month-Old Baby Died After Parents' Desperate Search for Liver Donor: 'He Was Comfortable and Peaceful'
His parents didn't qualify as donors, so they were hoping for someone else to save their son.
Update April 10, 2019
An update to the family's GoFundMe page shared that 5-month-old Marcus Albers passed away on Wednesday, April 10 at 4 a.m.
"He was comfortable and peaceful," the update post read. "These past 2 weeks Marcus’ family has felt your support through thousands of donor inquiries, in addition to your charitable donations and countless thoughts & prayers. Thank you all for the care and concern you have genuinely expressed for Marcus."
The GoFundMe page raised more than $24K in 13 days. This money will be used by the Albers family to cover Marcus' medical expenses. Any remaining funds will be donated to an organ donation charity, according to a statement on the GoFundMe page.
"Please continue to keep Tony, Whitney, and Dominic in your prayers during this difficult time," the update post concluded.
April 5, 2019
A mom and dad in Wisconsin have issued a public plea for their 5-month-old son. The infant is in dire need of a partial liver transplant, and because no one in their family qualifies as a donor, they need a stranger to step up and save his life.
Little Marcus Albers and his brother both suffer from a rare disease called immunodeficiency 47 which destroys the liver. His 2-year-old brother will eventually need a transplant, but as mom Whitney McLean and dad Tony Albers told WISN-TV, it's Marcus who is in urgent need right now.
"We were told that Marcus has weeks to live, and that was a week and a half ago," said McClean.
Marcus' dad said the family "had backups, apparently, but they all fell through, too, so it's just shocking today. Today was a bad day."
But the parents aren't about to give up on either of their sons. They've gone public with Marcus' story in the hopes that a stranger will be the match he needs. Anyone interested in being evaluated as a potential donor should meet the following criteria:
- Younger than 50 years old, but ideally under 40
- Less than 150 pounds
- Type O blood (positive or negative)
- Have not had a child in the past year
- In good health
- A non-smoker
Those who meet the criteria and want to save a life can contact a living donor coordinator at Wisconsin's Froedtert Hospital by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
In an email to Parents.com, the parents said they "are heartened by the overwhelming response to help Marcus." They also said they have since found "several good candidates," but may still need to "add more candidates to the screening list."
In the meantime, Marcus' parents are staying strong for their son. "We're pretty positive people," Albers told the news station. "Like I said, he's been our miracle child the whole way through."
"He's fighting," added McClean, "so we have to fight."
We wish the very best for Marcus, his brother and his obviously adoring parents. If you're able to contribute financially, there's a GoFundMe page set up to help with the family's medical expenses.