Southern's Gales rests in Athens hospital after successful spinal surgery

Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

ATHENS, GA (WAFB) - LSU head coach Les Miles opened Monday's press conference with thoughts and prayers for Southern Jaguar sophomore wide receiver and former Central High School standout Devon Gales.

Gales was badly injured in Saturday's game trying to block Georgia kicker Marshall Morgan. He was suffering from some paralysis Saturday night and underwent a successful spinal surgery on Sunday afternoon.

The university said Monday that Gale continues to rest comfortable and is in good spirits. He will remain at Athens Regional Medical Center until further notice.

The sources, who spoke to 9Sports Saturday on the condition of anonymity, said the injury is to Gales' C-6 vertebrae. He had feeling in his upper body and could move his arms and hands after the hit on a third quarter kickoff. The sources say Gales was even laughing while he was being immobilized and transported from the field to the hospital.

A Baton Rouge neurosurgeon shared his thoughts on what Gales has been through and what lies ahead.

"The spinal cord was decompressed and the column reconstructed with instrumentation. Meaning his neck is now stable. Meaning he can come out of the collar and move his neck around," said Dr. Greg Fautheree. "He'll have a lot of physical therapy. The spinal cord is one of the slowest healers in the body. If he recovers function, it's going to be extremely slow. And require a whole lot of therapy."

Georgia head coach Mark Richt and many staffers visited Gales at the hospital Sunday night, while the Bulldogs flew in Gales' parents to be with their son. Richt said Georgia will continue to think about and pray for Gales and added that when an exact need is determined, he will certainly urge the Bulldog fans to chip in and help.

Southern University Athletics and the Southern University System Foundation launched the Devon Gales Fund Monday afternoon to help provide Gales and his family financial assistance in covering medical expenses.

Donations can be made online at the Devon Gales Fund website or mailed to the following address:

Southern University System Foundation
c/o Devon Gales Fund
PO Box 9562
Baton Rouge, La. 70813 

In a release Monday night, Southern University expressed thanks for the nationwide outpouring of continuous prayers and well wishes for Gales.

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