ATHENS, GA. - The road to recovery is getting smoother for Devon Gales.
The Southern University football player was in Athens Thursday to thank all of the individuals who assisted with his treatment and therapy after he suffered a serious spinal cord injury in a game against Georgia last September.
What he didn’t know was he would be leaving with the promise his family soon will have a new home designed to accommodate his needs.
Channel 2’s Tyisha Fernandes was there with Gales' parents, Donny and Tanisha Gales, who wiped away tears from their eyes when it was announced funds are being raised for a new home accessible to his wheelchair.
Gales was released from the Shepherd Spinal Center in Atlanta on Wednesday, five months after his injury.
Reggie Jones and Wesley Jones, of the Triumph Over Tragedy Foundation, unveiled the campaign to build the new home. The foundation is selling shirts with the Georgia "G'' logo as the first letter in Gales to help pay for the house.
“We’re going to raise money. We’re going to build these guys a brand new home, and that’s what they deserve,” Wesley Jones said.
Devon Gales has been making others smile by keeping a smile on his face during his recovery.
“I appreciate the way you’ve smiled through this because I know there’s a lot of pain,” former UGA linebacker David Pollack said.
Athens Mayor Nancy Denson named Devon Gales an honorary member of the community.
“You are such inspiration to me, and I think you’re going to be an inspiration to people that you never meet probably for the rest of your life, just because of the spirit you have,” she said as he honored him.
Devon Gales said he wants to get back to class at Southern University as soon as possible.
He said that although he knows he won’t have the Shepherd Center staff to help him with daily activities, he is ready for the challenge.