Love for the Crimson Tide creates life-saving bond between nurses and patient
62-year-old Thomas Folyes has the ringtone, more shirts than he can count and plenty of memorabilia. There’s nowhere else he’d rather be than at a Bama game, but lately, he’s been at the Fresenius Medical Clinic in Grand Bay.
Folyes has kidney disease and needs to go to the clinic at least three times a week for dialysis. Each treatment is four hours long. Foyles started dialysis two years ago, but started having doubts about the side effects six months in. That’s when he almost made a potentially deadly decision.
“Well if I quit, I would probably have a life span of about five years left,” said Folyes. “I was going to quit and take my chances.”
Clinic managers and nurses Jora Lofton and Katrina Gray tried to convince him not to. However, it wasn’t until they discovered their mutual passion for college football that Folyes decided to give dialysis another chance.
“I’m not going to let Mr. Thomas give up on life,” said Lofton. “His phone rang and I heard the Alabama chant on his phone and I said wait a minute… you’re serious about your football!”
Folyse said the friendship makes the treatments more enjoyable. They even exchange Bama themed gifts.
Now more than a year later, Folyse said the long term effects of dialysis have him feeling like a new man. Now, his love for a team gave him a new family.
“I’m thankful for everything. I’m trying to hang around as long as I can in this world,” said Folyse. “I’m ready to watch Alabama play football!”