Devon Gales transfers hospitals in Georgia, Southern thanks UGA - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Devon Gales transfers hospitals in Georgia, Southern thanks UGA for support

Devon Gales (Source: Southern University) Devon Gales (Source: Southern University)
Source: WAFB Source: WAFB
Southern University's letter to University of Georgia Southern University's letter to University of Georgia

Injured Southern football player Devon Gales was transferred Wednesday from Athens Regional Medical Center to Shepherd Center in Atlanta.

The former Central High standout will stay at the hospital for spinal cord injury rehabilitation after sustaining an injury during Southern's game against the University of Georgia on Sept. 26.

Starting Thursday, the 21-year-old will undergo a rehabilitation program with the help of medical and rehabilitation specialists in the hospital's Spinal Cord Injury Unit.

Shepherd Center, which was founded in 1975, is a private, not-for-profit hospital that specializes in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord or injuries. It is ranked among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Southern said Tuesday that Gales and his family appreciate the outpouring of support from all over, including the Southern and UGA communities. However the family has asked for privacy. 

Ray Belton, the president and chancellor of the Southern University system, sent a letter of thanks to  UGA for the support from the university and its community. The letter talks about how the SEC school helped Southern after Gales was injured, including how the Bulldogs flew in his parents to be with their son. 

Georgia head coach Mark Richt and staffers visited Gales in the hospital, and Richt even urged the UGA community to help donate to the Devon Gales Fund that was set up by Southern. The fund will 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 

WAFB will livestream a news press conference at 12:30 p.m. Thursday concerning Gales' condition and stay in Georgia. It can be seen on WBXH or online on 

The complete letter from Southern University is below:

September 30,2015
An open letter to University of Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity, Head Coach Mark Richt, UGA officials, and the entire UGA community
A history-making Southern University Jaguar football game on the road against nationally ranked University of Georgia Bulldogs in Athens, Georgia, Saturday, September 26, 2015, has exemplified the true nature of sportsmanship, caring, and generosity.
During the third quarter of play in the Jaguars’ first match up against a Southeastern Conference team, SU wide receiver Devon Gales suffered a spinal injury. Devon underwent successful spinal surgery Sunday afternoon at Athens Regional Medical Center and is in good spirits.
From the moment of the accident, UGA and SU sports medicine staff worked side by side to tend to the injured SU player until he was taken off the field and transported to Athens Regional Medical Center.

UGA Athletic Director Greg McGarity immediately coordinated plans with SU Athletic Director Roman Banks for Devon’s care and support that included covering expenses to fly the student-athlete’s parents to Athens, Georgia, to be by his bedside.
At the medical center following the game, SU Head Coach Dawson Odums and members of the Jaguar Football team gathered with UGA Head Coach Mark Richt, other members of the UGA coaching staff, and team chaplains, to visit Devon.

The UGA community has joined the Jaguar Nation in an extraordinary outpouring of prayers, love, and support for Devon and his family.
While Devon’s road to full recovery may be long, we are grateful for the prayers and excellent medical care and treatment that resulted in his successful surgery and improvement thus far.

The extent to which the UGA officials and community have embraced our student-athlete is remarkable and it speaks volumes to their character and kindness.
I must also commend the UGA community for its hospitality shown to our athletic staff, team, and fans in and around Sanford Stadium. From excellent accommodations, to a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, we were pleased.

On behalf of the Southern University System and the Southern University Department of Athletics, I extend a huge thank you to UGA officials, students, and alumni, the UGA community, and the Athens Regional Medical Center, for their care and support of Devon.
Best wishes,
Ray Belton
President-Chancellor, Southern University

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