Almost two years ago in September 2015, Southern Georgia football player Devon Gales stepped onto the field to play against the University of Georgia, only never to walk again — until now.
The former wide receiver took his first steps with the assistance of robotic legs since a collision with kicker Marshall Morgan that fractured his C6 vertebrae, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.
Gales posted a video of him walking on Instagram from the help of the Indego, a mechanical exoskeleton designed to assist people with spinal injuries walk again.
“He has to maintain a certain position in the core in order for the machine to move. If he gets out of position, then the machine will stop,” his mother Tanisha Deans-Gales told Fox 5 Atlanta.
Gales was able to walk for 16 minutes Thursday. “When I asked him how it felt, he said just like he never stopped walking,” said his mother.
After his injury, the Georgia Bulldogs launched a fundraising campaign to build Gales and his family a handicap-accessible house in his hometown of Baton Rouge, La. The September game brought Gales and Morgan together through more than just a collision; they became close friends. Gales even attended Morgan’s wedding in March.
Gales aims to take more steps next week. “The power of God is real. Your time will come, just be patient. Be true to your words,” reads his Instagram biography.