If you feel compelled to help injured Southern University player Devon Gales and his family, now you can.
Southern University Athletics has set up an official fundraising account that was established to help assist the family with his Gales’ care and their expenses. Gales’ family, which includes his mother and father, step parents and two young siblings, lives in Baton Rouge and will be displaced for several weeks while the wide receiver recovers from a spinal cord injury suffered against Georgia this past Saturday.
Some bogus GoFundMe accounts were set up in the days following the injury. However, THIS ONE was set up by the Southern University Foundation System and will go directly to assisting Gales and his family.
Gales, a 5-9, 158-pound sophomore, suffered “several neck fractures” while blocking on the Jaguars kickoff return team in this past Saturday’s 48-6 loss to Georgia. He remains hospitalized in Athens Regional Medical Center where he underwent surgery this past Sunday to stabilize the fractures.
According to people who have visited with Gales, he has movement in his upper body and extremities but currently is unable to walk. The long-term effects of the injury will not be known for several weeks or possibly months.
“He’s speaking, and he’s talking, and he understands the road that’s in front of him,” Southern coach Dawson Odums told the Baton Rouge Advocate on Monday. “He’s a great guy, and he has the will and determination to handle whatever problems he has.”
Meanwhile, Georgia has been doing everything it can to assist Gales in his recovery. Ron Courson, UGA’s highly decorated director of sports medicine, has been intimately involved since the injury occurred on the field just in front of the Bulldogs’ sideline.
Georgia coaches, including head coach Mark Richt, and both of the Bulldogs’ team chaplains, Kevin Hynes and Thomas Settles, have visited Gales in the hospital and continue to counsel the family.
“We’re trying to cover him up with as much love as we can, and let him know that we care, let him know that we’re here to help,” Richt said. “We’re just gonna continue to pray, and I know the Bulldog nation is behind him as well. There may come a time where there may be some needs. Not exactly sure yet. But if it does come to that I’m going to be calling all Dawgs to get involved and to help out.”
Unfortunately, UGA has a lot of experience dealing with these types of catastrophic injuries. It had two baseball players – Chance Veazey and Jonathan Taylor – suffered permanent spinal cord injuries during a 17-month period from 2009 to 2011.