JEFFERSON, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Former college football player Devon Gales is returning to the field after a devastating injury left him paralyzed in 2015. This time, he'll be heading back to the gridiron as a coach.
Monday night, Jefferson High School announced that Gales would be joining the Dragon staff as an assistant coach.
"The former Southern University star will be a tremendous asset to our program," Jefferson Football said on Twitter.
On September 26, 2015, Gales, a Southern University wide receiver, lost his ability to walk after being hit during a kickoff return during a game against the University of Georgia. He never got up after the hit and suffered a paralyzing neck injury. Following emergency surgery, Devon was transferred to Atlanta's Shepherd Center where he began his road to recovery.
He's since graduated from Shepherd Center but continues working toward his goal of walking again on his own through the facility's "Beyond Therapy" program.
Since his injury, Gales has never given up hope and he's stayed focused on a path toward full recovery. He's even been able to walk with a machine that's similar to having robotic legs, allowing him to move with assistance.
"We are so excited for him," Gales' mother, Tanisha, told FOX 5's Katie Burk Tuesday morning. "Devon told them how much he missed being around the game of football and the superintendent decide to remedy that by offering him the job!"
Mrs. Gales said they are grateful to Jefferson for welcoming their family into the community.
The Gales family has been renting a home in Gwinnett County, but efforts are still underway to build them a new home. Once the house is complete, it will be wheelchair accessible for Gales. For more information on that and how to donate, go to buildfordevon.com.
Mrs. Gales said they first met the Jefferson football staff at a groundbreaking ceremony for their house.