Caffie Suggs receives kidney transplant

Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Caffie Suggs

In an interview in the Town Crier published July 9, 2013, Caffie Suggs of Manila called each day special as she patiently waited for a kidney transplant. She had both her kidneys removed in 2005. She has undergone the 3-1/2 hour process of dialysis three days a week for over a decade.

Her patience, faith and determination paid off and two years to the day from the first Town Crier story, Suggs received the call she had been waiting for at 1 a.m. July 9, 2015.

Through the years she has been very conscious about her health in an effort to be ready for the day when the call would come.

"The phone rang in the middle of the night and by the time I got to the phone I had to call back. I was told they had a kidney for me," Suggs said. "I knew we had to get to Memphis as quickly as possible. I called my good friend Lavern Boling and she did not hesitate. She and my sister Shelly took me to the Methodist University Hospital."

Caffie was in surgery by 9 a.m. When she woke up all eight of her sisters, and her nephew and his wife were there.

"I cannot thank everyone enough for their support through the years," she said. "My church family at Community Methodist, my family and friends have been there for me. We have wonderful people in this town."

Ms. Suggs came home on July 14 and is doing well. Her new kidney is functioning 100 percent.

"For some reason my tongue swelled up after surgery and I had trouble talking but it went away and I have felt good," she said.

This is the fifth week since the transplant and Caffie will be able to drive next week if all goes well. One of the first places she plans to drive is to the dialysis center just to visit.

"The staff there have become my friends through the years," she said. "They have all been really good to me."

A lot of trips have been made to Memphis over the last weeks and Suggs expressed her appreciation to family and friends for getting her there.

"I have been blessed," she said. "The Kidney Foundation has paid for my medicine. I have already been taken off of three medicines so far."

Caffie was a guard for nine years at the Department of Community Corrections in Osceola. Her symptoms started in 2004 and she quit work in 2005. She was at work when she received the call to come to the hospital to start dialysis.

"I loved my job and the people I worked with," she said. "It was hard to have to quit."

During the years she had to give up eating dairy products. She is enjoying being able to eat cheese, ice cream and chocolate candy again.

Caffee shared her story to encourage others who are undergoing dialysis. She never gave up on the fact that her time would come to receive a kidney.

"I know people were praying for me and I know it helped me keep going," she said.

Caffie is the daughter of Virgie Suggs and the late Nathaniel "Nat" Suggs. She is the next to the oldest of 10 sisters. Her older sister passed away in 2013. Her other siblings live in Manila, Blytheville and Osceola.

Every day is still special to Caffee and she plans to follow the doctor's instructions as she gains back her full strength.

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