The University of Georgia continues to support Devon Gales, the Southern University player who suffered a spinal injury in the teams' game last week.
Georgia players wore a light blue sticker with the No. 33, Gales' number, on their helmets for their game against Alabama. Georgia also honored Gales family during the game.
Gales is able to move his shoulders and wrists, but at this point is unable to move his lower body, his doctor at the Shepherd Center said Thursday afternoon.
In a news conference at the center, where Gales was transported on Wednesday afternoon, Dr. Brock Bowman said it’s still too early to make definitive assessments but offered a progress report, stating that Gales has been moved from intensive care to the hospital floor where he will begin his rehabilitation program.
“(Gales) will potentially be here about eight weeks, possibly longer than that,” Bowman said. “It depends on how things progress. Neurological injuries progress very slowly and we have to take it with patience and (go) step by step. He’s doing a great job so far and the family appears to be upbeat.”
The not-for-profit Shepherd Center, which was founded in 1975, is considered one of the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the country.
Southern assistant director Earl Hill said, “While we’re so sorry this happened, he’s in the best place in the land to be, and he was only an hour away.”
In last Saturday’s game between Georgia and Southern at Sanford Stadium, Gales suffered a spinal cord injury in the third quarter while playing on the Jaguars’ kick return team and was carted off the field.
Dr. Kimberly P. Walpert, who performed the surgery (which took four and a half hours) in Athens last Sunday, said that Gales sustained a spinal fracture.
Gales was visited by Georgia coach Mark Richt and several Georgia players before his transfer to Atlanta. Georgia also paid for Gale’s parents – Amy Gremillion and Donny Gales and his wife Tish -- to travel to Athens.
Earlier this week, Southern established the Devon Gales Fund to provide financial assistance for Gales’ medical expenses. Donations can be made by visiting the Devon Gales Fund website (https://netcommunity.sus.edu/the-devon-gales-fund) and can be sent to the Devon Gales Fund, P.O. Box 9562, Baton Rouge, La., 70813.