Former Dodgers star Andrew Toles’ family open up about his battle with schizophrenia
"He hears voices and the TV at the same time, so it's kind of confusing. I've seen him looking at some baseball games on his laptop, but I don't think he really understands what's going on," the father of Toles said.
Mental health can still be a taboo topic in the Black community, but this week the family of former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andrew Toles opened up about his ongoing battles with schizophrenia.
Last summer, the Miami Herald reported that authorities found Toles sleeping behind a FedEx at Key West International Airport.
At the time, all he had in his possession was a black book bag and after they attempted to give him several opportunities to leave the area without consequence, ultimately they ended up having to arrest him. According to the arrest report at the time, the former athlete was considered homeless so his address was listed as “streets of Key West.”
Fast forward to 2021 and Toles is now in better shape under the guardianship of his father, Alvin Toles, in Fairburn, Georgia.
In a recent interview with USA Today, the family revealed that the 29-year-old was “zombie like” after over a dozen stints in hospitals and mental health facilities. Currently, even things as simple as watching TV are a struggle, so he still has no idea that the team he spent three seasons with secured a World Series win in October 2020.
“But, at least, we’re not worrying whether he’s alive,” explained his sister, Morgan Toles.
“We are having challenges,” Alvin conceded, “but nothing that God and I can’t handle. Schizophrenia, it’s just so tough. I mean, he can’t even watch TV. He hears voices and the TV at the same time, so it’s kind of confusing. I’ve seen him looking at some baseball games on his laptop, but I don’t think he really understands what’s going on.”
He only lives 50 yards away from his son and since gaining guardianship over him last year, Alvin is doing his best to keep Andrew healthy and supported as he works through his mental illness.
“I just want him to have a chance in life,” he said. “That’s all. Just to be healthy, live a normal life.”
The family went on to share that it’s their ultimate hope that someday Andrew’s life will stabilize and return to some sense of normalcy so they can enjoy special moments, like taking him to a Dodgers game to see his former teammates.
“People want to assume that we want Andrew to be who he was before. That’s not true. We just want him to be happy and healthy. He could be a garbage man. He can be a yoga instructor,” Morgan clarified, adding that her father “just wants his son back.”
The former MLB player who had an epic performance in the 2016 NLCS against the Chicago Cubs is also getting support from his former employer. According to reports, the Dodgers renewed his contract even though he won’t see any of his salary just so he could keep his health benefits and continue to receive the help he needs.
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