Devon Gales’ Road to Recovery Leads to Atlanta

By: Anna Clark

Southern University wide receiver Devon Gales began rehabilitation today after being transferred to Shepherd Center in Atlanta.

Gales sustained a spinal injury during Saturday’s game against the University of Georgia in Sanford Stadium. He was transported to Athens Regional Medical Center where he underwent surgery  to relieve pressure off his spinal cord and stabilize the injured area. Gales is still unable to move his legs and fingers, but has gained movement in his shoulders. He will now undergo eight weeks of intensive therapy.

Brock Bowman, medical director of the Spinal Cord Injury Program at Shepherd Center, says Gales is in good spirits and seems to be up to the challenge he will face during his long road to recovery. Bowman does not anticipate Gales will need additional surgeries if he heals as expected.

Kimberly August, a friend of the Gales family, says, “Devon knows that you can’t be brave if you’ve had only wonderful things happen to you and that is illustrated in his response since last Saturday’s accident.” Gales believes there is a purpose for him to bring awareness to safety standards that should be adopted to ensure football players stay safe during the game.

Gales has already requested a medical red shirt for this season, according to his godfather, Roman Gage. It’s too early to tell whether Gales will return to the football field, but Bowman says because he was stabilized quickly on the field and at Athens Regional, his prognosis is better for recovery. Bowman says it will be some time before a true prognosis is known, but reminds everyone to “never say never.”

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