Former athletes join LSU and Southern in teaching emergency care course
BATON ROUGE - A quick course in emergency care could save the next athlete's life. On Saturday, LSU and Southern University co-hosted an all-day medical emergency course for coaches and trainers all over the state.
The two schools, along with other universities, are teaming up to bring awareness through an emergency care course.
"It's still a blessing," Devon Gales said.
Gales, a former Southern University football player, was paralyzed after suffering from a spinal injury back in 2015 during a game against the University of Georgia.
Over the past three years, he's been undergoing strenuous physical therapy in Georgia, hoping to walk again.
"I have a little bit of movement in my... it comes from the hip. But I'm able to move like my legs so that's a big accomplishment," he told WBRZ.
LSU and Southern co-hosted a course where medical professionals from all over the country taught coaches and trainers emergency air administration, hemorrhage control, and trauma.
Gales is sharing his story with others, and spreading the importance of emergency care training.
"It makes me feel good just to have that awareness going and just seeing the amount of people coming out and just trying to learn about it," Gales said.
Former New Orleans Saints player Zach Strief was the keynote speaker. He and Gales met for the first time Saturday, sharing their love of football, but also urging others to know the dangers of it, too.
"This is some pretty intense stuff in emergency care," Strief said. "You know, there's someone in here that will save a life or a limb by coming to this."
Gales' family stayed right by his side, also hoping to raise awareness, too.
"It's a great experience just to see all of the different schools coming together for one goal which is to make sure that they're prepared for any emergency or things of such like what happened to my son," Devon's mother, Tanisha Gales, said.
Gales and his family are currently living in Georgia while he finishes up physical therapy. A former University of Georgia football player recently donated property to the Gales family so they could start building a wheelchair-accessible home for Devon.