Injured Southern wide receiver Devon Gales’ recovery from a severe spinal injury reached a milestone this week when he felt his knee and the bottom of his feet for the first time.
“It’s just amazing to know the feeling is coming back and I have a chance to walk again,” Gales told WSB-TV in Atlanta during an interview Wednesday.
Jaguars coach Dawson Odums spoke by phone with Gales, who suffered the injury during a game against Georgia last Sept. 26.
“He’s getting better,” Odums said. “He had a little feeling in his knees and we talked about that. He said, “Coach, you know what’s next, I get to my feet. And you know what’s going to happen when I get to my feet.”
“I said, “let’s take it one day at a time” and he said, “Coach, when I get to my feet you know something good is going to happen.” He hasn’t had a bad day. He works hard every day to overcome his adversity. He’s excited. If you didn’t know his story you wouldn’t know he’s going through what he’s going through.”
Gales felt his knee for the first time Tuesday night when the staff at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, where he has been rehabbing since shortly after the surgery, moved him from one chair to another.
“Just when I transferred, they hit my knee and I was like, ‘Ow! I felt that,’ and then I started feeling the hair on my legs,” Gales told WSB.
Then on Wednesday he felt the bottom of his feet for the first time, which his mother was there to witness.
“She was pushing me and I was like, “OK, I feel that,’” Gales said. “It was a weird feeling because I couldn’t feel that before. Just to know I had feeling coming back and I could feel the carpet I was like, ‘Ooh, I like it.’”
WSB said Gales has been transferred from the main part of the Shepherd Center to the residence building, which is more like independent living, because he has made so much progress.
“It’s just a blessing that there’s still people out there supporting me through this accident and knowing I’m getting better,” Gales said.
A benefit concert for injured Gales will take place at The Varsity Theatre in Baton Rouge at 7 p.m. Friday.
The “Groovin’ For Gales” benefit, presented by Red, Rock & Blue, will feature performances by the Michael Foster Project, U4RIA the Band and The Neighborhood Stars along with special guest Kool DJ SupaMike.
Tickets for the fundraiser are available at www.varsitytheatre.com.
Here’s the video of WSB-TV’s interview with Gales:
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