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Jockey Desiree Gill gave life to five through death

Desiree Gill.
Desiree Gill. Simon Young

HORSE trainer Barry Gill mourned the loss of the love of his life at her funeral in Gympie yesterday but said he had never been prouder of her.

Jockey Desiree Gill died after sustaining head injuries in a race fall at Corbould Park, Caloundra, on Saturday, November 9.

Yesterday it was revealed she had left a legacy that went far beyond the racetrack by donating her organs.

Mr Gill said his wife helped save five people last week.

Her heart, lungs, liver and two kidneys were all given to people needing transplants.

"It makes me feel proud that other people are still being helped by Des," Mr Gill said.

"This week her corneas will be given to two different people, to help them see again, and skin tissue has also been donated."

The couple had spoken on numerous occasions on what was to happen if Mrs Gill was ever killed in a riding accident.

"Des always wanted to donate organs, she was in favour of it," Mr Gill said.

After the fall at Caloundra, Mrs Gill was transported to the Nambour General Hospital for treatment.

Mr Gill went with his wife to the hospital and said donating organs was the last thing on his mind after he got the bad news from medical staff.

"After I said my last goodbyes, the head of the intensive care unit, who was so good, came out and asked the family about donating organs," Mr Gill said.

"I got a flashback...that's what Des wanted."

Mr Gill said the family was "holding together" after the loss but was overwhelmed by the turnout out at yesterday's funeral.

More than 700 people attended the Pavilion for the funeral held beside Mrs Gill's beloved racetrack and training facility.

"Desiree would have been so proud of the turn up," he said. "She would have been very proud."

He said Mrs Gill's adult sons Peter, aged 24, and Ryan, 21, had been "doing it tough."

"Next week will be hard," Mr Gill said. "But I will be there for them. It's what Des wanted."

Topics:  desiree gill editors picks funeral horses horse trainer racing

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