Barby vows to carry on despite heart attack

Tireless animal sanctuary founder Barby Keel has vowed to carry on despite suffering a heart attack almost two weeks ago.

Barby is well known as being “one in a million” not only for the good works she does at her Freezeland Farm Animal Sanctuary but for battling breast cancer. Now, despite suffering a major heart attack and nearing 80, she is determined to get well and carry on. Barby said following the attack she received excellent care from staff at the Conquest hospital, where she spent five days, made a new friend, Lily, and wants well-wishers to know she is getting better. “Many people have called to see if I’m OK and if they can do anything. I want to say thank you to everyone for their cards and enquiries but I am doing fine and just have to do what the hospital says..I need to sleep and rest.

“I also want to say a big ‘thank you’ to my motley crew at the sanctuary who work so hard and keep things going.”

In true Barby style she said that, with the sanctuary’s open day looming (August 10) the heart attack was “quite annoying” but she will still be there to oversee the proceedings. “Luckily we had done quite a bit of preparation for the open day before it happened. I have to take it easy and will be there in a wheelchair.”

Volunteer Diane Fenner, who has been with Barby for around 30 years, describing how hard Barby worked on a previous open day said: “Barby works so hard...she just puts everything into it. She gets everything organised, it is all her idea basically which we just carry out for her. But try to get her to have a rest!

“This is her life. She is one in a million she deserves every good thing that comes her way. In her world, Barby comes last, and the animals always come first.” Well-wishers are asked to make enquires at Barby Keel’s shop, Bexhill.