Devin’s Story

Devin Johnson is a 22 year old Mixed Martial Arts fighter (MMA) training out of Urijah Faber’s Ultimate Fitness in Sacramento, CA, and a member of Team Alpha Male.  On May 14th, 2012 Devin was critically injured while sparring during practice.   He suffered a C4 vertebra fracture and dislocation causing major spinal cord damage.  Teammates called 911 and Devin was rushed to UC Davis Medical Center.   He was intubated on arrival at the trauma center because his diaphragm had collapsed and he was unable to maintain breathing on his own.  Doctors put Devin in a medically induced coma and placed him in a halo brace  to allow for traction to reduce and realign his spine to prevent further damage to his spinal cord.  Doctors said that traction most likely would not work due to his fractured vertebra and for our family to pray for a successful outcome.  If the reduction was not successful he would need emergency surgery to straighten his spine.  While waiting for an OR to do the traction under x-ray guidance doctors added 5 lbs an hour to the traction and took x-rays every hour.  By the 3rd hour the X-ray showed the traction had worked and Devin’s fractured c4 vertebra had moved back into place.  He was scheduled for a spinal fusion surgery the next day to stabilize and repair his broken neck.  ER doctors and Neurosurgeons said that Devin would not likely walk again.

Devin went in for surgery the next day and had C4/C5 fused.  The family hoped and prayed for a miracle.  The head neurosurgeon came out after the 5 hour surgery and said that the fusion was a success, but that Devin had sustained such serious spinal cord damage that he would be left a quadriplegic, with a neurologically complete spinal cord injury.  Devin’s mom asked the surgeon if it was his child, what was the chance that he thought he would recover, the doctor answered, barring a miracle none.  A second surgeon told our family Devin had a 3% chance of recovery with a complete spinal cord injury.

After 11 days Devin has been awakened from the medically induced coma.  He still cannot breathe on his own and doctors have placed a trachea vent so that he can be more comfortable.  His pulmonary specialist feels very confident that he will get off the ventilator at some point and will breathe on his own, hopefully in the very near future.  The head neurosurgeon told Devin’s mom that he would have no gross motor skills at all.  Devin has been lifting his right arm all the way to his face for several days now.  Today doctors reassessed his injury as an incomplete injury after Devin was able to feel and respond to stimulus on both legs.  He is already falling into that 3%.  We want to show the doctors that they were 97% wrong!

We have created this site with the purpose of raising money to go towards the mounting medical bills and expenses related to Devin’s accident, and to keep Devin’s friends, family, and fans updated on his progress.  The family consists of Devin, his little brother Justin and their single mother Jacqui.  Devin’s mom is the sole income earner in the family and she has been unable to work since Devin’s hospitalization, as she must be there at all times to advocate on his behalf.  Please check back frequently for updates and PLEASE, help spread the word about this site!  Devin and his family are going to need lots of help in the coming months.  They have told his mom to expect him to be in the hospital for about a year, between the NSICU and rehab.  We have set up a special needs trust for Devin.  If you would like to help out and are in a position to do so, please do even if it’s only $5 bucks! You can donate right here on this page, or by going into a Wells Fargo Branch and giving to the Devin Johnson Special Needs Trust {acct# 3166243182}.  Every little bit counts, so thank you so much for your support!!!!   And please continue to pray for Devin and his family!

To see the 5:00 news feature story on Devin, click on the link  Sacramento News10 video

47 Comments on “Devin’s Story”

  1. Zack says:

    He always was different frm the other guys frm the little I knew him. Definitely spreading the word out here in the southwest. Prayer is the key.

  2. Demetrius Bellamy says:

    My name is Demetrius. I used to train at Ultimate Fitness & now train @ Folsom MMA. I also have a spinal cord injury, but continue to train in MMA, as does another gentleman at another MMA gym in Roseville. I pray daily that Devin will walk again, & even though I only met him a few times, I know he is a fighter & will fight to walk. I don’t know who his Neurosurgeon is, but if you ever have questions or need to talk, I’m here. My number is 916-678-8846. I’m happy to help in any way I can.

  3. Ryan Essary says:

    I don’t know him personally but I know he’s a good guy, I hope the best for him and dr’s are not always right, they are human and make human errors so don’t think for a second that 3% is a accurate number, there are millions of variables and a big one is self preservation and determination which Devin seems to have, so his chances are very possibly much better. My hopes and prayers go out to his family.

  4. D.j. Forman says:

    your gonna make it devin!! love you man

  5. Cynara Wallace says:

    Found this off Urija Fabers Tweet. My thoughts and prayers go out to you. Will put Devin on Prayer chain. I will spread the word. DONT EVER let your Bended knees get weary!!

  6. L Forman says:

    The Forman family is praying!

  7. Mike Stumpf says:

    Keep fighting brother!

  8. Headlines Salon & Spa in Yuba City will be hosting a Men’s Night this Thursday, May 31st from 5pm-9pm and all proceeds will go to Devin’s Trust. The following services will be offered for a $25 donation: Men’s Haircut, Express Sport Pedicure or Manicure, Acupressure Massage, Therapeutic Massage, Chest or Back Wax. Call the salon at (530)674-7571 to make an appointment or simply stop by anytime to make a donation.

  9. Danilys Medina says:

    Sending prayers & blessings to him & his family. I hope and pray to God he can recover and be back to his old self again. Drs will always have a saying but the Dr who decides and knows the outcome is the big man up above.His courage and willingness is whats going to make him recover and prove Drs wrong.
    I lost my 20 month old babygirl on May 14,2012 due to a seizure she had which left her braindead. It was the most difficult time to see your child in a bed not knowing the outcome. I ask God for strength to his family to continue to fight till all their nightmare is over.

    God bless you all.

  10. Found this from where OchoCinco posted it on facebook. I don’t pray often, but I am definitely praying from you Devin and your family. I will spread the news

    • Washeta Amore says:

      Hello I just wanted to share this info to you there is a Spinal Cord injury foundation In San Diego that’s called Head North here’s the link!

      Mailing address:
      2658 Del Mar Heights Road
      Suite #196
      Del Mar, CA 92014

      Karolyn Baker | Program Director
      p :: 858.350.3193 | f :: 858.362.8763

      I pray this information helps you and i will keep you in my prayers!

    • devon is a great kid hope he pulls through all thats coming to him we love you hun yolanda doug crystal micheal brandon josh jake our prayers are with you

  11. Antonio Hill says:

    Stay strong bro!!! You’ll be back in the cage before you know it!! Paying for you!

  12. suziei says:


  13. suziei says:


  14. Hey Devin,

    I saw your story and thought I would reach out and offer my support. I too broke my C5 in a fall a few months back. I am still recovering and every day is a little easier. I know this is a difficult time for you, the first weeks post op are the most difficult. If your surgery was like mine I’m sure you’re having difficulty swallowing, speaking, and I’m sure your tongue is still numb. Its not an easy recovery, but stay strong and believe me when i say things get easier. If you need anything at all, even if its just to talk with someone who’s been in a similar situation, please feel free to reach out to me.

    Hope everything is going well.

    My thoughts are with you,
    Christian Chavez

  15. Our thoughts are with him!
    I am sure Devin will walk again. I don’t know him but I know he is a tough guy and as a fighter he will fight till he gets to walk again!

  16. @stalinMMA says:

    Apoyaré … saludos desde Quito – Ecuador, por que las MMA son mas que un deporte que unen a todos quienes gustamos y practicamos este deporte. Oraciones por Devin.

  17. John says:

    I would like to offer Devin and his Family best wishes and positive thoughts. My brother had a brain injury with coma over 10 yrs ago and I remember well those “not good” Dr assumptions about walking, etc. Today he walks, talks, drives, and has a family. Dr.’s usually give worst case scenario’s in 99% of cases to protect themselves from being sued. So stay strong and stay positive!

    I also am the Owner of and I would like to post your website and donation information on our home page. We get a great deal of traffic and I would like to try to help in any way I can. You can reach me directly at With your permission I will have a donation link activated on our landing page.

  18. mike franco says:

    My preyers are with you bro keep fighting. I am fighting for a title in july at win river bro and I wanted too see if I could put something on my banner for you brother. we all no that you are the title holder there at 185. let me no. and always remember friend JESUS loves you brother

    • Jacqui Johnson says:

      This is Devins mom that would be great if you could mention it. What ever you can think of in your thoughts help. Thank You.

  19. Sunita says:

    Hi Devin,
    It was heart wrenching news to here about your accident. Seeing you growing up as a well mannered child to handsom youngman, it was hard to accept the unfortunate news. Now after reading your story, your positive stronge attitude and progress, we definitely can see the light at the end of tunnel. As Suziei said, “God is on your side, lean on him” God bless your family, our prayers goes out for you and your family. STAY STRONG, YOU ARE GOING TO WALK AND FIGHT AGAIN

    As a mother, I can sense your pain, but your extent of pain no one can. All this made you even stronger than before. Our support and prayers are with you. God bless you and your family.

  20. Diana says:

    Prayers and positive vibes being sent to you from Sydney Australia! Never stop fighting! x

  21. Gianni Cacciacarro says:

    Never give up Devin. You can never underestimate the power of the human spirit. One day, this experience will be nothing more than a really cool story you tell your children as you dance your ass off. All the power to you kid.

  22. YugoMMA says:

    Dont give up
    That what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!

  23. Ian says:

    Hope everyday you get that little bit better dude. Osu!

  24. Anna Hill says:

    I just wanna tell you guys a way my husband and I are trying to help, please feel free to spread the word:

    Pass the word on; Sunday June 10th @ D&D Motorsports, on the corner of 5th and E St in Marysville; we will be doing a fundraiser car wash for an injured MMA fighter from Yuba City. A part of Devin Johnson’s cervical spine was shattered during training. His chances of walking are around 3%. We would like to help out with his medical expenses. His stay in the hospital is anticipated to be a long one. Please come out and get your car washed!! I’m calling on all MMA fighters to come help for our fallen brother. Please call us to make a donation, or if you want to come out and help 530-777-1071. We will also be conducting a raffle, you do not have to be present to win. Let’s get the word out and make this a successful day for Devin and his family! Thanks guys! Wanna learn more about Devin, check this page out!

  25. Sam says:

    I run two web sites. and I get about 500 hits a day between them. With your permission I would like to add a link on my sites to this site to help.

  26. samir says:

    i hope you get better . Im 11 and i pray for you every day and so does my family. im ganna call all my friends and tell them to donat i hope to god to get you better. please send this to devin.

  27. Any updates ? Just stay positive during the road to recovery. C3,4,5 are the levels that are so important. Pray a miracle will happen.

  28. Brenda Koehn says:

    My prayers are with you and your family, no matter what the doctors say All things are possible through prayer, and it sounds like you have a army of people in your corner stay positive!

  29. Christina says:

    Can’t wait to hear that you recovered 100% keeping you in prayers so many behind you.

  30. english kid dan says:

    Hope you get back on your feet and prove to the doctors and the world that anything is possible! My thoughts are with you and your family!

  31. James Nolan says:


    Sorry to hear about your injury but excited to hear about your progress. I wish you the best and will keep checking back to hear more about your progress.

    Best wishes,

  32. Eladia Martinez says:

    Devin, I am so sorry to hear about your injury. I did not know about it until today, when I seen my son wearing a “Pray for Devin” T-shirt. I asked him about it and confirmed it with Kito. I remember the last time we spoke you were so thrilled to be training with the Alpha Males. God is HUGE Devin. Leave it all in Gods hands. My father just had brain surgery and they told us the same. They told us he would most likely not wake up from the surgery. He would not be able to walk again and if he did, he would have to learn everything as if he were a child.Keep in mind he was in an almost fatal car accident in Feb. Where he broke his legs, spine, arms and pelvic bone. Guess what he went in for surgery Friday and was home talking more than ever on Tuesday.I had never seen my dad so active. The Doctor is God! The miracle maker is God as well. You need to put all your faith in our Lord. I have no doubt in my mind Devin that you will be walking and fighting again! You will make this journey tap out on you! You watch! I am just excited to see you come back! I am not worried a bit. I know you will be fine. You know my number and remember you have a friend in me. I cannot believe I just found out and you live around the street. I will see you soon in the ring. Prayers out to you and your entire family and your girlfriend that has been such a great support to you! Smile Devin! Eladia
    Ps. Place God First.

  33. Barney says:

    Hi there,

    I have a C5-6 complete injury which I suffered in 1999. Could you please tell Devin & his family about Project Walk. The website is It is in Carlsbad, CA. It is the solution for spinal cord injury recovery. I’m from Australia & come over here for 6 months of the year since 2009 cause that’s all my visa lets me. They have me standing again, doing single & double leg squats. I cannot stress how important it is for him to go to Project Walk! If you need any more info from me my email is

  34. KDF says:

    Urijah Faber promotes Devin’s Miracle in his UFC post fight speech. Although this was a lost to Urijah, he still gave a shout out on Devin’s behalf… my hat is off to you Sir.

  35. Cody Osborn says:

    This story has me in tears. I can’t imagine training one moment, only to wake up in the hospital a week later. I promise to remember this man in my prayers.

  36. JD says:

    May God bless him. The lord never makes mistakes, and may his will be done. Get well soon Devin. I dont know you, but i pray that you get better.

  37. Stefan Nilsson says:

    This is a fight you will win Devin! I´m a hughe MMA fan from Sweden and I wish yoy luck and strenght in your recovery. Hope my donation can help.

    To all MMA fans, please help Devin and his family.

  38. Thanks for finally writing about >Devin’s Miracle <Liked it!

  39. larry scholl says:

    Anyone who can survive and keep fighting in this challenge is the greatest fighter of all! You will fight again but you must be strong and never never surrender. I will pray for your recovery!

  40. Marcia (Mousie) Khan says:

    Ray and I were just watching Ultimate Fighter on TV and I decided to google Devin and see what he was up to. We were shocked. All of our prayers are with you and Devin. We pray he recovers and can walk again.
    Ray and Mousie

  41. Bobbie Stacker says:

    When I get the chance im gonna donate bro. Saturday im fighting via groundgamez in Tennessee and im gonna win that fight and dedicate it to brother is paralyzed from a gunshot so I know what your going through I see it everyday. God is real and I believe he will work a miracle for you

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