Tiffin native gives kidney to woman seeking transplant

PHOTO SUBMITTED Patty Gosche, (left) visits Rachel Drees, to whom she gave a kidney.

A former Tiffin resident gave the ultimate gift in the form of a kidney this past November to someone she had only met a handful of times.

It was through the Mount Orab Church of Christ in the village of Mount Orab that Patty Gosche met Rachel Drees and learned about her need of a kidney. Drees, who had gone through 13 kidney dialysis treatments since 2015, had been through many donors who were not matches or who had to back out.

Gosche, who works as an administrative assistant at the church she and Drees attend, heard about Drees’ situation and began praying about whether she could be a donor for Drees.

“I have always been a donor advocate,” Gosche said.

With Drees’ health declining – her kidney function was at 10 percent and, without a new kidney and relying on dialysis, Drees’ doctors told the 31-year-old she had 10 years to live – Gosche said she decided through God’s guidance she would undergo the testing to determine if she was a match.

Gosche said testing found she was an exact match for Drees and they began to set a surgery date. Gosche said she didn’t want to tell Drees until she knew 100 percent she was a match and to make sure everything went according to the doctors’ plans.

“It was no question I was going to do this,” Gosche said. “It wasn’t really a decision for me if I could give another person a chance at life.”

The surgery was scheduled for Nov. 29 and everything went according to plan, Gosche said.

Gosche said she keeps up on Drees’ health through Facebook and through the congregation at church and so far, the kidney has not be rejected.

“There is always a risk of rejection, but she is doing better now,” Gosche said. “Me and my kidney had a long talk.”

“I’ve had amazing support and the encouragement I’ve received is overwhelming,” she said. “I hope that this story encourages others to maybe donate.”

According to the United Network of Organ Sharing, the organization that manages the kidney transplant list, there are 93,000 people now on the waiting list.

“When I heard that number, I was blown away,” Gosche said.

Prior to the surgery, Gosche said she was too busy to really stop and think about the outcomes. Her family, Pam Smith – Gosche’s sister – and Betty Paul – Gosche’s mother – expressed their concerns.

“We were nervous,” Smith said. “Patty is such a giving person. I am so overwhelmed at her generosity and kindness.”

“With Christ in her heart, I knew she was determined to do this,” Paul said. “Through prayer, I knew she was going to be OK.”

Gosche is in recovery.

“I feel great now,” she said. “It has been an amazing journey. I’ve learned a lot and now have a new family.”