Southern wide receiver Devon Gales sustained a severe spinal injury in last Saturday’s game against Georgia, and was transferred a couple of days later from an Athens-area hospital to Shepherd Center’s Spinal Cord Injury Unit in Atlanta “for evaluation, care and observation.”
Thursday, Gales’ Shepard Center physician updated his patient’s status, stating at a news conference that while he’s able to move his shoulders and wrists, he has no movement in his lower body or fingers. Gales underwent surgery Sunday to remove a fractured C6 vertebrae at the base of his neck, Dr. Brock Bowman revealed at the press conference.
The good news is that Gales reported some feeling in his legs after the procedure, but Bowman warned that’s it’s still too early in the process to draw any conclusions.
Gales is expected to remain at the Shepard Center for at least eight weeks. “It depends on how things progress,” Bowman said according to the Baton Rouge Advocate.
“Neurological injuries progress very slowly, and we have to take it with patience and [go] step-by-step. He’s doing a great job so far, and the family appears upbeat.”
UGA paid for Gales’ parents to fly from their home in Louisiana to be with their son in Georgia. Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt has visited Gales “on multiple occasions.”
A fund was launched earlier this week “in an effort to provide financial assistance to Gales and his family to cover medical expenses.” For those who have an interest, here’s the pertinent information on how you can help contribute.
The Devon Gales Fund is the official fundraising platform of Southern University and A&M College. All donations can be made by visiting the Devon Gales Fund webpage:
Contributions to the Devon Gales Fund can also be mailed to the following address:
Southern University System Foundation
c/o Devon Gales Fund
PO Box 9562
Baton Rouge, La. 70813