CRITICALLY ill jockey Leah Kilner squeezed her mum’s hand from her hospital bed – sparking hopes she could recover from her life-threatening fall.
Hugely popular apprentice rider Kilner, 24, was airlifted to hospital on Sunday after coming off her mount at Grafton racecourse in Australia.
She was put in an induced coma and required surgery to remove pressure on her brain.
Kilner was the second female jockey in 24 hours to be rushed to hospital after a fall.
Elissa Meredith, 27, was also placed in a coma and flown to hospital after coming off her mount on Monday.
There was a positive update on Kilner’s condition the day following her accident – which sadly proved fatal for her horse Stella’s Turn.
The Australian Daily Telegraph reported she squeezed her mum’s hand from her hospital bed.
The jockey was momentarily out of a coma and seemingly able to recognise her mother – before she was put back under.
Kilner’s trainer-boss Rob Heathcote delivered the positive news.
He admitted there was a ‘bloody long road ahead’ but the family, friends and fans were buoyed by ‘plenty of optimism’.
Heathcote said: “Leah’s mum gave me the good news that her daughter did momentarily come out of her coma.
“She was asked to squeeze her mum’s hand and she did.
“The medics then put her back under as panic can set in.
“They will bring her out of sedation for short periods over the next few days. Plenty of encouragement from the medical team.
“Bloody long road ahead but plenty of optimism now.”
Kilner was fortunately cleared of serious spinal issues following extensive scaqns at Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital.
However doctors confirmed she had broken several ribs and a collar bone.
Kilner’s manager Brad Glendenning said: “The family has had countless calls and heart warming messages from the racing community and is overwhelmed by the love and support for Leah.
“They would just ask everyone to say a pray for her and thank everyone for their kind wishes.”