Devon Gales, the Southern University football player who was paralyzed in a game against the University of Georgia in 2015, is walking again for the first time since his injury. FOX 5 caught up with him on Thursday.
Last week, with assistance, Devon took his first steps at Atlanta's Shepherd Center. He was able to walk thanks to a machine called "The Indigo," which his mother told FOX 5 is similar to having robotic legs.
"He has to maintain a certain position in the core in order for the machine to move," Tanisha Gales said. "If he gets out of position, then the machine will stop."
Tanisha said her son walked for 16 minutes, and she was left speechless. Since then, he's been able to walk two more times with the machine.
"I was overjoyed and just so excited to see him up again," she said. "When I asked him how it felt, he said just like he never stopped walking!"
"It feels real good," Devon told FOX 5 on Thursday, after his third attempt at walking. "Like I never stopped."
The wide receiver was hit during a kickoff return in Athens in September 2015 and suffered a paralyzing neck injury. Following emergency surgery, he was transferred to Shepherd Center in Atlanta.
Devon has since graduated from Shepherd Center, but continues working toward his goal of walking again through the facility's "Beyond Therapy" program. He travels with his family back and forth between Atlanta and Baton Rouge, which is where he's from.
The determined athlete previously told FOX 5 his dream is to one day walk again, and he's now one step closer toward achieving that dream.
"Just being able to see my toes again without looking over a chair, and maybe to have a second chance at walking again, that's all I could ask for."