No one in the family was a match for Marcus, which is why they were greatly dependant on a stranger to save his life.
A five-month-old baby named Marcus in Wisconsin was in dire need of a partial liver transplant, and it had to happen within the next three weeks or the doctors had informed his family that he would not make it. His parents, Tony Albers and Whitney McLean, did everything they could to find a donor for him. Marcus had an extremely rare liver disease called immunodeficiency 47. According to his parents, there are only 12 known cases of this illness worldwide, reports People. Sadly, Marcus did not make it, as they were unable to find a donor.
The family announced on April 10 their baby had “passed away peacefully in our arms, with his caring doctors, loving nurses and amazing staff by his side.” They issued a statement which read, "Thank you to the thousands of people who graciously volunteered to be a living donor for baby Marcus. We want to especially thank the individual(s) that were screened and selected for transplant but ultimately did not qualify. There was no disappointment from us. The donor’s health was just as important as Marcus'."
They continued, "However, our disappointment does lie with the living donor screening process. There should have been a better system in place to handle the large volume of selfless people attempting to call and be screened. This would have made it more likely that Marcus would have matched with multiple qualified living donors. Due to the limitations of this screening process, Marcus became too ill for surgery while waiting for matches. He passed away peacefully in our arms with his caring Doctors, loving nurses, and amazing staff by his side."
"Our son would have been so proud of the overwhelming attention given to children waiting for organs. Unfortunately, his organs were not healthy enough to donate. Please consider adding your name to the Wisconsin Donor Registry at donatelifewisconsin.org to help other children like Marcus. He has touched so many people. Keep him and his brother Dominic in your thoughts and prayers. All of you will be kept in ours. Thank you again," they concluded.
Meanwhile, the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin also issued a statement. "Our care teams are grieving with the Albers. Their family is in our thoughts and have our deepest sympathy. Nobody should have to endure the loss of a child. We are grateful for how our community stepped forward in such a remarkable way to support the Albers family. Thousands of individuals signed up to be evaluated as potential donors."
According to People, Whitney says this disease is genetic and is passed down through the mother, but it only shows in boys. “My grandmother had all girls, my mother had all girls. These last few weeks were really rough. His health … he has his good days and his bad days," she said. No one in the family was a match for Marcus, which is why they were greatly dependant on a stranger to save his life. The sad part is that Marcus has a two-year-old brother who also has the same condition and one day might need a new liver himself.
The family was in grave need of money to cover Marcus's medical expenses and a fundraising team started a GoFundMe page on their behalf. The page said, "Marcus was diagnosed with the liver disease after birth and is currently in the ICU awaiting a liver transplant at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Funds raised will be used by Marcus’ family to cover medical expenses. If medical expenses are less than the amount raised, the remainder will be donated to an organ donation charity. Please keep Marcus in your prayers as we await news that a perfect match has been found. Tony, Whitney, and Dominic thank you for your continued support! ❤️"
They managed to raise $24,638 out of their $20,000 goal. "Due to the overwhelming response of individuals willing to be screened as a donor, they are no longer accepting additional inquiries," they added on the page. A lot of people seemed to empathize with the family and took to the page to share their own experiences while praying that Marcus is happy, wherever he is now. They all prayed for Tony, Whitney, and Dominic to have the strength to get through these trying times.