By ANDREW NELSON, Staff Writer | Published January 12, 2024
In the first half of 2023, I wrote a story that remains in my heart, and it is not one of celebration. Instead, it revolves around the life-altering events experienced by Devon Corbett, a young man whose world changed forever on a ski slope in 2020.
Corbett carried the ambitions of a young elite high school athlete to play lacrosse at the college level. He earned the nickname “D1”—telling of a future of playing in a premier athletic program.
Today, he spends a good portion of his days in physical therapy and attends Atlanta Public School to stimulate his brain growth.
He is much admired. Classmates at Marist School gave him a standing ovation in May as his brothers helped him to walk across the graduation stage to receive an honorary degree. He goes to pool parties. Friends home from college show up at his Buckhead house. His Instagram feed shows him on family vacation.
I remember the candid conversation with his parents Brian and Melinda around their dining room table. It was honest. Tears flowed. There was a shared determination to navigate the challenging journey ahead after his life-changing crash. They are tired after years of struggle, and yet, they will move mountains for their son.
A pivotal moment for me was the opportunity to see Devon put in the day’s work in the garage which has been converted into a gym with a specialized bike with a video screen, a treadmill to put in his steps and tables to stretch out for physical therapy.
In the Corbetts’ dreams and prayers, alongside hopes for their son’s recovery, is to establish a world-class medical facility in Georgia to serve others facing similar challenges.
Since spending time with the family, I have thought about the biblical story of Job and the idea of innocent suffering, such as a young man facing an endless horizon suddenly requiring round-the-clock care. There is a play, called “J.B.,” that won the author Archibald MacLeish the Pulitzer Prize. In one of the key moments, a character asks, “‘You wanted justice, didn’t you?’ There isn’t any … there is only love.”
In the face of adversity, Devon’s journey is a showcase of resilience, love and devotion of friends and family. Love can empower us to endure our steepest mountains.