The family of former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andrew Toles is speaking out about his ongoing struggle with schizophrenia.
Toles, 29, was arrested last summer after police found him sleeping behind a FedEx at Key West International Airport. Deputies told the Miami Herald that they found Toles with only a black book bag and arrested him after giving him several chances to leave the area without consequence. The arrest report indicated that Toles was homeless at the time of the arrest, listing his current address as "streets of Key West."
Now, he's in the care of his dad, Alvin Toles, in Fairburn, Georgia, his family said in a recent interview with USA Today. After more than a dozen stints in hospitals and mental health facilities, Andrew is described by his family as "zombie-like."
"But, at least, we're not worrying whether he's alive," his sister, Morgan Toles, told the newspaper.
Andrew struggles to watch TV, let alone keep up to date on his former team, his dad said. He remains unaware that the team he spent three seasons with secured a World Series win in October.
"We are having challenges,'' Alvin said, "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."
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Alvin gained guardianship over his son last year. He now lives just 50 yards away from Andrew, trying to keep him healthy as he works through his mental illness, USA Today reported.
"I just want him to have a chance in life,'' Alvin said. "That's all. Just to be healthy, live a normal life."
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One day, Alvin hopes to even be able to take Andrew to a Dodgers game and reconnect with some familiar faces. His family said they hope Andrew's life will be able to return to some sort of normalcy one day.
"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 said, adding that her father "just wants his son back.''