Southern wide receiver Devon Gales was upbeat on Thursday.
Gales, who is leaving Atlanta's Shepherd Center after months of treatment, had a press conference with his family and others to discuss the spinal injury he sustained against Georgia on September 26 and the months of rehab that have followed.
His family got a huge surprise, too. The charity Triumph Over Tragedy announced it would raise money to build the family a new house. Donny Gales said the family had been planning to build a new house over the last few months and had even approached a bank about financing options. Those plans are now unnecessary.
Gales suffered a broken sixth cervical vertebra on a kickoff vs. the Bulldogs and has gone through a grueling rehab process. He was officially released from the Shepherd Center on Wednesday and said September 26 would be a day he'd never forget.
"Basically this is just a temporary setback," Gales said. "But it’s not a setback, it’s another blessing. I know I’m going walk out. I know I’m going to have a testimony that I will speak on."
Georgia trainer Ron Courson, who has visited Gales numerous times throughout his recovery process, said last week the wide receiver was currently able to stand up with assistance for 15 seconds.
Gales said he had cried twice after the injury. The first time was when he was in the ICU unit shortly after the injury and wanted to talk to his father, Donny.
"I’ve cried twice. When I first got in the ICU I wanted to see my dad," Gales said. "And he got on the phone and called me and told me he loved me and that was the first time he ever put his emotions out like that and I boo hooed like a baby."
Gales' parents, who live in Baton Rouge with two younger children, have traveled to Georgia to be with their oldest. Gales also made sure to take time to thank all the people from Georgia who took time to visit with him while he was at Shepherd Center.
"It’s been amazing to know there’s still those beautiful people out in the world and it’s not always about hate … there are people that still love and care about other people."
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