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East Tennessee couple focuses on dreams amid challenges

The Floyd's have a life lesson for all of us. As they weather significant losses in their lives, they’re choosing to see the challenges as an opportunity to dream.

LOUISVILLE, Tenn. — Kelly and Doug Floyd smile as they think about their beloved green rancher tucked away in their tight-knit Louisville neighborhood.  

Kelly recounts a favorite memory. 

"We had this little habit when we pulled up to it. We would say, 'Look at that beautiful house, aren’t we blessed?'"     

The couple said they’re blessed and grateful for every day they lived there. It was a regular gathering place for family, friends and church members until an early morning in August. They watched as the home they called a ”gift” was gone. It was consumed by fire in a matter of minutes.

"We just kind of sat on our bench and kept moving it back further away and just grieved the loss in that moment," said Kelly. 

Among the many losses was a journal that chronicled three decades of marriage.

"We started writing a letter to each other in the journal. One person wrote and they would hand it over. Then they would hand it back, so that was pretty special to us," said Doug. 

Despite their grief, the couple is grateful for something unexpected. Doug was up early the morning of the fire because he was getting ready for his dialysis appointment. 

"If I hadn’t had to go to dialysis we would have been sleeping and we might not have known the fire was right under our bed," said Doug.   

Now, not only does the couple need a new home, Doug needs a new kidney. It won’t be his first.

In 2006 our cameras covered Doug’s first kidney transplant when a friend proved to be the perfect match. 

Credit: WBIR
Doug Floyd's 2006 transplant

The donated organ served him well for 15 years until last year when he came down with COVID-19 and spent weeks in the hospital.

"But then I had a big hematoma, a big blood bleed in my stomach. The trauma from the hematoma, we don’t know what caused it,  but it’s probably what traumatized the kidney and so I had to go back on dialysis," he said.

And Doug is back on the transplant list. He has dialysis three days a week. 

Credit: Doug Floyd
Kelly and Doug Floyd's house before the fire

Given the loss of their house, possessions, and Doug's healthy kidney, Kelly said she chooses to focus on the fact that they have made it through so many challenges. 

For now, Doug and Kelly said they will wait and dream about a new kidney and a home where friends and family can gather once again.

"At this age, to start dreaming again even though it’s a disaster, it’s kind of exciting...the 'What ifs,'" she said. 

If you would like to support the Floyds in their recovery visit their GoFundMe page at this link.

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