Sep 8, 2021

Blessed with hope and faith, the Quigleys rally around Devon

If pushed to excruciating limits of human suffering and forced to search within for answers, ask yourself: “How deep is my soul?”

And if the answers suggested you need a sense of inner peace, some clarity, and a commitment to selflessness, ask yourself: “Just how strong is my faith?”

Devon Quigley with his support staff: Charlotte (middle), Nicole (right, with daughter Evelyn), Dana and Angie Quigley (left), and Nicole's husband, TJ (back, middle).

Difficult questions, for sure, and while many of us can answer in theory, then hope we never have to face a reality test, there is a family that did meet a gut-wrenching crisis and demonstrated that they had deep and enriched souls and an unfailing measure of faith.

Nearly 10 years from the evening when Devon Quigley suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident in Riviera Beach, Fla., he continues to be the center of his family’s universe. Devon is the reason that love and faith and warmth and hope and peace – all those threads that tie together the essence of our humanity – overflow when you are among a gathering of Quigleys.

“We are an extremely blessed family,” said Nicole, who recently hosted an annual birthday party for her younger brother. “Without faith, I don’t believe we would be able to continue the way we have.”

How Charlotte, Dana Quigley’s first wife and the mother to Nicole, 40, and Devon, 37, has scripted this compelling love story is nothing short of miraculous. Charlotte lives with Devon in the family home where he grew up in Rumford, R.I., Nicole lives around the corner, and while neither of them is a nurse, they rejected all those suggestions made after the accident that the then-27-year-old be placed in a medical facility for TBI patients.

Charlotte, who puts great faith in church and her Bible groups, all of which Devon attends with her, once explained, “I couldn’t live with myself if I left him somewhere.” So, as you soaked in the birthday party scene with friends and relatives and neighbors, and when you got the raised eyes from Devon (he’s happy, he loves seeing you!), you have a sense of wonder about this woman.

Truly, Charlotte must be living with someone’s hand on her shoulder and Dana Quigley believes that with all his heart. “Jesus continues to give (Charlotte and Nicole) all the strength and the peace and the patience, mixed with lots of joy,” he recently wrote on a post.

Now 74 and years removed from the dynamic career he had on the PGA Tour Champions – 11 wins, $15m in prize money, many seasons enjoyed with Devon as his caddie – Quigley marvels at the world Charlotte and Nicole have created around Devon. He lives year-round in Florida, where Devon lived pre-accident and where Devon has spent many of his post-accident winters, but Dana is equally consumed with his son’s well-being.

“My dad has continued to bless all of our family, even beyond what any father would ever do,” said Nicole.

All the financial needs and medical expenses aside, Dana knows that Devon is a Quigley and that means if you’re breathing, you’re playing golf or watching golf or talking golf.

So as Dana bemoans that he can only play 18 a day, not the 36 he was used to, and he doesn’t like giving too many strokes to his group at Bear Lakes, you can see Devon raise his eyes.

He loves it. He’s laughing.

So, when Paul Quigley, Dana’s brother, walks in, and he’s asked if it’s true what Paul’s son, Brett, said, how Paul’s been winning so often against his group of golfers that he’s been pushed to a longer tee, Paul cringes. He doesn’t think it’s fair.

Dana brushes that off, then mentions that he has a sore neck, as if that’s supposed to translate into fewer shots. “Oh, for crying out loud, you know what he shot yesterday?” Chris Lovely says to Devon. “A 66. Some sore neck.”

The eyes raise. Devon is happy.

“It’s so important to Devon,” said Nicole. “He laughs for hours with them.”

United by faith and love and, yes, golf, the Quigley family – Charlotte and Nicole, Dana and his wife, Angie – recently gathered with Devon for an interview with a neuroscientist. Devon is potentially a candidate for clinical research, where a chip would be placed on the brain to pick up messages which could be transferred to a computer. It’s all so new, all so exciting, all so experimental, but as Dana wrote on his CaringBridge post “the key for all of us is how Devon feels about these potential experiments.”

And how does he feel?

“He’s all in,” wrote Dana, who suggests that Devon’s response wasn’t a surprise. After all, it’s a family thing, this “all in” business.