5-month-old boy from Wisconsin waited just 40 minutes for life-saving liver transplant: “Greatest gift we could receive”

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CHICAGO — A five-month-old baby boy from Waukesha received a life-saving liver transplant less than an hour after he was placed on the transplant list. 

According to Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, Daniel McCabe, a five-month-old boy who WMAQ says is from Waukesha, Wisconsin was listed for a liver transplant at 10:15 a.m. on December 13th.

Forty minutes later, at 10:55 a.m., the boy’s doctor, Jeffrey Brown, learned a liver was available.  He entered his hospital room and told Melody, Daniel’s mom, “We have a liver.”

Daniel McCabe was born with biliary atresia, a rare liver disease. His condition took a turn for the worse.

According to Lurie Children’s Hospital, the boy’s short wait on the United Network of Organ Sharing list (UNOS) is extremely rare.

According to UNOS, over the last five years, Daniel McCabe is just one of 43 people nationwide to have waited less than 40 minutes for a life-saving match.

Daniel McCabe (PHOTO: Lurie Children's Hospital)

Daniel McCabe (PHOTO: Lurie Children’s Hospital)

“When Dr. Brown walked into our room and shared the news, I just was speechless. I was immediately so sad but grateful for the donor family. And then at the same time feeling excited and relieved for Daniel. I never thought he would receive a liver this soon. I thought it would be months before a match and that was my biggest worry because he was so sick,” Melody McCabe said in a blog post by Lurie Children’s Hospital officials.

Daniel underwent a successful liver transplant and continues to recover.

During this season of giving, Daniel’s family feels they received the ultimate gift.

“We had a lot of prayer warriors praying for Daniel. This is the greatest gift we could receive this season,” Melody McCabe said.


  • Diane Bissonette

    My heart goes out to the family for the loss of their baby and how courageous and unselfish they were to donate the baby’s organs to help other babies live. God Bless you. What a Christmas Miracle for the baby that received your gift of life. Prayers for both families.

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