Photography by Nicole W Photography
You may have heard the story. You may think you understand the challenges Devon Gales and his family have faced over the last 2 years since Devon suffered a traumatic spinal injury during a football game between the University of Georgia and Southern University. There’s always more to the story, however, and for Devon and the Gales family, there’s a lot more life to live.
Starting the next chapter is where we can help.
If you do a Google search for “Devon Gales”, chances are you’ll find pictures of a smiling young man, probably wearing a cross around his neck, and possibly with his Mom, Tish, close by his side. Those are just a couple of the things that have helped Devon through many of the adversities he’s faced in his life.
Devon has been dealing with challenges since the day he was born. He was born with a birth defect and almost didn’t make it through his first few days. He persevered from the outset, however, and the world has gained a shining, happy smile, with a spirit to match, as a result.
Through the adversity in his life, Devon’s parents, Tish and Donny, have always pointed to God’s plan. It’s been through this profound faith instilled in the entire Gales family that they have pressed forward, confident that God has a plan and a place for us all.
Perhaps the biggest challenge to that long-instilled faith was first realized on September 26th, 2015.
Devon had only received a few chances to play in the first half of the game. He was committed to do his part on a kickoff return at the beginning of the 2nd half. He saw that opportunity present itself as Georgia’s kicker, Marshall Morgan, charged down the field. Devon put his all into a block, trying to slow Marshall down and, moments later, he was lying on his back, staring at the clear blue September sky, unable to move his legs.
Tish and Donny had been unable to make the trip to Athens for the game. As they watched from the family’s home in Baton Rouge, The report was that a “Southern player was down on the field.” Tish’s motherly instinct kicked in and she knew Devon was hurt. Getting information about Devon’s status was difficult at first. When a nurse from Athens Regional Hospital finally called, Tish’s only question was “Do I need to be on the next flight to Georgia?” The nurse’s quick response was “Yes, I think so.”
As the Gales have continued down this path which God has placed them on, adversities have continued, as well. Their home in Baton Rouge was in an area which flooded only a few months ago. They had previously been struggling with the idea of moving the family to Atlanta. Moving to Georgia would put Devon closer to the care of The Shepherd Spinal Center and the expert care there. The flood, they decided, was another way of God telling them “it was time.”
The time has come and this family is being blessed. The community has pulled together to build Devon and his family a new home. Sunshine on a Ranney Day, along with our designers at Crosby Design Group, are doing the design of Devon’s new home and completing his wheelchair accessible bathroom, bedroom, and in-home therapy room. Stay tuned for all of the exciting details!