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It was a routine play – just another kickoff return in the college football career of Southern University’s Devon Gales. Unfortunately, that return proved to be anything but routine. Last September, Gales was severely injured in what his doctors called a ‘burst’ injury when he collided with another player and fractured several bones in his neck. The good news is, a subsequent surgery has allowed him to move his upper body, according to WBRZ2 News in Baton Rouge.

Even better news is that Gales is heading back to Southern for the first time since the devastating injury. He’ll be on the court between games of the men’s and women’s basketball teams at Southern’s F.G. Clark Center and the Southern community is asking for people to show up and support Gales, a Baton Rouge native.

Gales has been rehabbing in Atlanta ever since the accident.

‘We’re glad that he can be home and that the whole Southern University family and not only that, but the city of Baton Rouge, can participate and welcome our own back,” interim Jaguars athletic director Roman Banks told “A lot of people have sent letters, sent cards, sent emails wondering about his condition saying they’re praying for him and wondering when he’s coming back and what they can do.”

Once he returns home to Louisiana, Gales, who has been supported by his family (his mother, Tanisha, has practically lived in Atlanta to support her son, while Gales’ father, Donny, commuted back and forth as much as possible with Devon’s siblings, Dalen, 11, and Teah, 7) will need assistance in helping with the needs of a family member who is now limited in mobility.

Their home as its presently configured, cannot meet his needs nor can it be modified to do do. A Georgia based foundation, Triumph Over Tragedy that has raised money for other families with spinal cord injuries is helping the Gales family to build the family a brand new home.

If you want to donate to the Gales family, you can do so via the Triumph Over Tragedy website HERE. 

According to the, despite his injury, Gales, a third-year sophomore, plans to complete his education at Southern, which has committed to paying for his studies.

(Addition information provided by Lovie Tabron, Southern University)

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Injured Southern University Football Player Devon Gales Heads Back To School  was originally published on