Pataskala man’s faith stays strong as he waits for kidney transplant


PATASKALA – Throughout his life, Chad Wagy faced many health challenges.

But he faces his biggest challenge yet. Diabetes and kidney disease have taken their toll on his body and he needs a kidney transplant. And while the lifelong resident of Pataskala awaits the donor, he is adamant that he will continue to live his life.

After being added to the transplant list in the spring of 2021, he started having dialysis three days a week at a center in Dublin. In October 2021, he chose to start doing home dialysis to give himself more freedom. Now he’s traveling, camping and more, all with the dialysis machine that follows him.

“We have to show people that dialysis shouldn’t tie you up, and it’s not going to tie me up. We’re trying to live a normal life. That’s the only thing that’s abnormal,” he said, pointing to his dialysis. machine.

Wagy and his wife Catherine dreamed of having their own farm and in 2014 purchased around seven acres in Pataskala. The couple had goats, pigs, donkeys and nearly 150 thriving tomato plants. Wagy said they would sell tomatoes to a handful of local restaurants.

Once Wagy was added to the transplant list, his care team recommended that the farm have no more livestock. And caring for the tomato plants became too difficult with her dialysis treatments several days a week, Wagy said.

But doing the treatments in the comfort of her home allows her to live as normal a life as possible.

“I can set my own pace,” he said. “I do this for hours a week, but once I’m done I’m mowing or doing (something).”

Doing dialysis at home has its challenges, however. The Wagys’ dining room is more like a hospital supply closet with two floor-to-ceiling shelves stocked with necessary medical supplies. It also wouldn’t be possible without Catherine’s support, Wagy said.

Shelves full of medical supplies line the wall of the dining room at Chad Wagy's home in Pataskala, Ohio on June 30, 2022. Way has been on a home dialysis program for kidney disease.  Chad has to do his dialysis regiment for three hours four times a week.  His dialysis machine is portable and he has been on vacation and camping during his treatments.

“She’s amazing,” Wagy said, holding back tears.

When the couple married in 2008, it was before Wagy was diagnosed with diabetes.

“This all happened over the years and she never left,” he said. “She’s stuck with it, she gave 100% and I give her my 100%.”

Other family members, including her father, Richard, and her sister, Renee, were also a source of support. Her dad in particular has been amazing through the process, Wagy said.

“He’s funny, he’s older and he says, ‘If I could, I’d buy you a kidney, but you know that’s against the law,'” Wagy joked.

Another source of support has been the faith of the Wagys, he said.

“We both believe that God has that. And I believe, I firmly believe now that if I don’t have a kidney, God takes me as an example,” he said. “But Catherine and I firmly believe there is someone out there. There is, (we) just have to be patient. Keep praying and, you know, spread the word. You can’t just sit back and let the disease take a You gotta take the disease.

A phone number and message requesting kidney donation appears in the back of Chad Wagy's vehicle at his home in Pataskala, Ohio on June 30, 2022. Wagy was on a home dialysis program for kidney disease.  Chad has to do his dialysis regiment for three hours four times a week.  His dialysis machine is portable and he has been on vacation and camping during his treatments.

One of the ways they’re spreading the word is by using decals on the cars that list the number people can call if they’re interested in donating.

About 100 decals are made by Kaitlan Merz, a friend of the family who has her own small business.

Wagy was open about his experiences on his Facebook page, which is how Merz learned he needed a kidney. Through a family connection, Merz knows someone who received a heart transplant. She has been a registered organ donor since she got her driver’s license and donates blood as often as she can, she said.

“I may not be at that stage where I could personally donate a kidney, but I’m going to do what I can to help you find that kidney,” said Merz, a Pataskala native who now lives in Delaware. .

Wagy said he received donations from Carr Farms in Jersey Township and Quality Yard and Home Maintenance, LLC in Pataskala to pay for the decals.

Merz’s donations and volunteerism, Wagy said, show community means everything. He credits his father for teaching him to make friends not enemies in the community.

“He raised me the right way. You know, be nice, be courteous, be sincere. That’s who I am,” he said.

Those interested in a bumper sticker or in helping Wagy can contact 614-306-4461.

Thanks to his faith and positive attitude, Wagy is convinced that he will one day find his kidney.

“It’s funny, we dreamed of having this farm. Now our dreams have turned into a dream that we will have a kidney one day,” he said. “We had the farm, so the kidney will come.”

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