Tributes paid to Ipswich landlady who has died aged 55
The heartbroken husband of an Ipswich pub landlady is leading tributes to her after she lost her battle with cancer aged 55.
Annie Keatley, who ran the Fat Cat pub in Spring Road with husband John, died last month after living with a rare form of cancer for six-and-a-half years.
The keen speedway fan, who was once a nurse at Ipswich Hospital, had terminal multiple myeloma – a type of cancer that develops from cells in bone marrow.
She was given just five years to live, but fought on for another year and a half. This, her husband said, is testament to her bravery.
“She showed incredible courage,” he said.
“It was a struggle doing everyday things but she had a bucket list and wanted to live her life even though she was in so much pain.
“She was so brave, the bravest woman I’ve ever met. She was very humble, and very thankful for everything everybody did for her.
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“Even when her pain was at its worst she never once moaned.
“I think that was what I admired about her the most, even when it was so bad she was just so brave and fought through it.”
Annie’s illness was so severe that she broke her back in five places and lost eight inches in height.
Her husband, who lives in Ipswich with the couple’s devoted dog Stanley, added: “The doctors originally told her that she only had five years to live but she pushed through that and came out the other side.
“She really did fight until the end.”
In 2015, Annie said she was determined not to let the disease break her spirit.
She set up a bucket list of things she wanted to achieve, and rode around the Foxhall Stadium track with Chris Louis later that year.
Annie also managed to collect more than £7,000 for the Somersham Ward at Ipswich Hospital, who helped to care for her over the years.
She died on April 22, and leaves behind two children, Eilish and Patrick.
In a letter to this newspaper, John said he was “deeply in debt” to the NHS teams who treated Annie.
“I would like to thank the NHS Ipswich Hospital Somersham Ward, Woolverstone Wing, Oncology and outpatients, and the St Elizabeth Hospice wards and outpatients and the lovely district nurses and carers,” he wrote.