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Lying in a hospital bed, she learned Hurricane Michael had ruined her long-sought donor kidney

Storm stalled 10-year search for kidney
Posted: 11:24 PM, Oct 17, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-18 10:15:04Z

CINCINNATI -- The phone call stole Angel Goss' breath.

When her children came to investigate the sound of their mother jumping up and down in their home, she could only point at the phone. A match, she tried to tell them. They found a match

She would receive a donor kidney. The search for one her body could accept had lasted 10 years, much of it spent in hours-long sessions of dialysis.

Multiple blood transfusions and a diagnosis of lupus, which contributed to her kidney failure, meant she needed to find a donor who met exacting standards: They needed to be alive, and they needed to belong to the 2 percent of the population with a compatible blood type. 

After a decade, that donor had finally materialized. Ohio State University Hospital found them.

"I was overjoyed," Goss said. "You know, I've been waiting too long for this. I didn't know how to contain myself because I was just so excited.”

She was lying in a hospital bed, ready for surgery, when she learned it wouldn't come. 

Hurricane Michael stalled the flight carrying her kidney in South Carolina, where the organ spoiled in storage as the ice around it melted, and Goss was speechless again. 

"I didn't want to hear it," Goss said. "I didn't want to believe it. (I thought,) ‘It's going to come, and when it comes, it's going to be just for me.'

"I didn't want to speak to anybody. I felt like everything bad follows me."

Goss continues to wake up early for four-hour dialysis sessions every day. She said she forces herself to believe everything happens for a reason, even if she can't see it, and keep her loved ones in mind as she lives each moment to the fullest. 

She will remain at the top of the kidney transplant list, hoping for another rare donor to come along. In the meantime, she said she hopes sharing her story will encourage those with healthy kidneys to become organ donors. 

"I just want that second chance," she said. "I want to feel good again."