On Sept. 26, Southern University wide receiver Devon Gales’ life was changed forever following a collision with Georgia kicker Marshall Morgan. Gales was paralyzed as a result of his injury on the football field.
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According to a feature article on the NCAA website, Gales has found a new family and home in the University of Georgia community.
“Devon Gales is harnessed up and connected to two battle ropes, pushing and pulling them during a tiring conditioning workout at the Shepherd Center,” the article reads. “His 45 seconds are up, and he bends to his knees in child’s pose. His head is on the floor, and his arms are extended, all while gasping for air.”
The Shepherd Center is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury and brain injury.
Shepherd Center is among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation, has 152-beds and last year Shepherd had 965 admissions.
In conjunction with financial support and visits from well wishers, Georgia held a press conference on Thursday following his release from Atlanta’s Shepherd Center to wish him well on his way home to Louisiana,” the article reads. “On Sept. 26, 2015, Gales entered Sanford Stadium as a Southern wide receiver. His life was changed forever when he collided with former Georgia place-kicker Marshall Morgan on a kickoff play. Gales suffered a spinal cord injury, which left him paralyzed from the waist down.”
Following his surgery Gales was admitted to the Shepherd Center and placed in the inpatient rehabilitation program for nearly six months. The recovery focus was all about learning a new lifestyle and focusing on activities of daily living. He had success with those activities and his medical team felt he could return home.
“After being discharged in February, he returned home to Baton Rouge, Louisiana for a short period of time. But Gales wasn’t able to get the kind of therapy at home like he did in Atlanta,” the article reads. “I wanted to get back and get started (rehabbing) because I was just at home and wasn’t doing too much, Devon said. I thought I might as well come here and get all the workouts in. I had a therapist I was going to. I went three times but I guess I was so used to Shepherd that it was just different. I didn’t go anymore. I was going to wait until I came back here. Then I was at home, doing nothing. Sitting outside and just rolling around in this chair.”
He returned back to Atlanta and is now working on minor movements in Beyond Therapy, a Shepherd Center program that works on meeting certain physical goals patients have. He’s also working to regain feeling in his lower extremities.
“Gales, his stepmother, Tanisha, and his younger sister Teah currently reside in Atlanta as Devon continues rehab at the Shepherd Center. The plan is to stay in Atlanta for as long as Devon needs to be there,” the article reads.