ATHENS — Once again, Devon Gales and his family are facing adversity.
Gales is the Southern University football player who suffered a paralyzing neck injury in a 2015 game against Georgia in Athens. The Gales’ home, which had been modified to become handicapped accessible, was among hundreds that have been flooded in Baton Rouge this week after torrential rains inundated the area. The flooding has left seven dead and more than 20,000 people have been rescued.
Count the Gales among them. And, once again, UGA came to their aid. Bryant Gantt, Georgia football’s director of player wellness, flew the Gales family to Atlanta via Delta Air Lines and picked them up at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Sunday.
“They’re fine,” Gantt said in a text message. “They are with me now.”
But the Gales home is likely a total loss like thousands of others in the area. Triumph Over Tragedy, an organization that provides assistance to families dealing with serious spinal cord injuries, was already in the process of raising money to build the Gales a new handicapped-accessible home. But despite an outpouring of support from UGA fans and alumni, there remains a shortfall and they have yet to begin construction.
Reggie Jones, director of Triumph Over Tragedy, took to social media this week to ask for more support.
“Their current home is now under water,” Jones said in a Facebook post. “Please consider donating to help expedite the completion of their new home.”
The website is www.givetotriumph.org.