Brantford woman dies two years after falling from seventh floor balcony
23-year-old Desiree Gallagher has passed away, two years after she was injured in a fall from a London apartment building.
The seven storey fall broke her spine in two places, caused her to lose her sight and left her with a brain injury.
“We lost Des once and now we're having to lose her again,” said her mother Susan Gerth.
“We came to terms with (her injuries), but now we have to come to terms that she’s gone forever,” she continued.
Her family said she had been making great progress in her recovery over the past two years. On Monday staff at her 24-hour care home in Brantford found Gallagher without vital signs. On Thursday her family made the decision to take her off life support. They aren’t sure what caused her death, but she suffered from spasticity in her neck, and had had seizures in the past.
Gallagher was an organ donor, and five people will benefit from receiving her organs.
“She’s living on with other people. She saved other people’s lives… she’s still going on touching people’s hearts and making a difference in the world,” said Gerth.
Gallagher fell from the balcony of Justin Primmer’s apartment. While police are not clear on what caused her to fall, they did charge Primmer with assault causing bodily harm because Gallagher had been beaten before she fell. He served six months in prison for the crime. He is currently serving time in prison for other crimes.
“I don't really think about him, he's in the back of my mind. My focus has been on my daughter. She's brought the strength out of me to keep going, to keep fighting, to keep her going and push her. Honestly, that's one person I couldn't waste my energy on,” Gerth said of Primmer.
Before her injury, Desiree was a student at Mohawk College in their Biotechnology program. Her mother says she was funny, and a fighter. She loved to dance and play sports.
A second annual motorcycle ride fundraiser for Desiree Gallagher is set for August 22nd. Her mother says it will now be a memorial fundraiser.
“We are able to help a couple of places for physically disabled and victims of crime which are both associated with Des,” Gerth said.
“I’m putting my whole heart into it now. I was before, but now I'm more passionate about it… It's going to be big. I have a feeling it's going to be big.”