‘Amy was my world and the whole family love her and miss her so much’: Mother of Amy Innes pays touching tribute to her daughter who died from cancer

Amy Innes, 34, who died from cancer.
Picture: James Bass

Amy Innes, 34, who died from cancer. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Evening News � 2005

'She was loving, kind, sweet and gentle' - those were the words from the mother of Amy Innes who has paid tribute to her daughter after she lost her battle with cancer.

Amy Innes, 34, who died from cancer.
Picture: James Bass

Amy Innes, 34, who died from cancer. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Evening News � 2005

Amy Innes, 34, died at the end of April months after she and her family were told the news that she had a aggressive form of the disease.

The mother-of-two from Earlham was left wheelchair bound after the cancer spread and crushed three of her vertebrae in her spine. During her illness she married her partner Gareth Innes thanks to donations and her two daughters Tian and Lexie were by her side.

Ahead of her funeral on Wednesday, her mother Lynn Crooks has paid tribute to her only daughter as the family struggles to come to terms with her death.

Amy spent her early childhood in the village of Salhouse where she developed a love for horses and wanted to do everything on offer. She adored her two brothers, Sean and Julian, with the trio referring to themselves as 'the three amigos'. She was also very was close to her grandparents and her great-grandma who she referred to as 'Big Nanny'.

Amy with her two brothers Julian (left) and Sean (right). Picture Lynn Crooks

Amy with her two brothers Julian (left) and Sean (right). Picture Lynn Crooks - Credit: Picture Lynn Crooks


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'She was a little girl who had to save everything and rescue everything, even if it was just a snail in a jam jar,' said Lynn. 'She was lively and just enjoyed everything she did. She was a loving, kind, sweet and gentle girl.

'She saw no fear and would always be put her on the biggest, most temperamental horse they could find especially if one was playing up and she never fell off.'

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When she started at Sprowston High School she stopped riding but before she died she told her mum that she wanted horses at her funeral.

After leaving school Amy did a variety of jobs including working in a jewellery shop, at The Brickmakers pub and waitressing. After the birth of her daughters she worked as a cleaner at City Academy before joining her mum at the Muddy Cup café in the city.

Amy Innes with her husband Gareth and daughters Lexie (left) and Tian (right). Picture Dan Sunderlan

Amy Innes with her husband Gareth and daughters Lexie (left) and Tian (right). Picture Dan Sunderland Photography - Credit: Dan Sunderland Photography

'At the café and in life she always had time for people, if they had problems or were upset she would sit, listen and talk to them. That was her biggest thing trying to help people.

'We were close, we did have a good laugh and her favourite thing to do was when I bent down to clean something she would whack me with a tea towel, she used to wet herself laughing.

'And those were the kind of silly things Amy did, she was always playing around and laughing.'

It was weeks before Christmas last year when Amy received her diagnosis when she started to feel unwell while watching the Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime at the Norwich Theatre Royal.

Gareth Innes and Amy Innes celebrate their marriage. Picture Richard Jarmy Photography.

Gareth Innes and Amy Innes celebrate their marriage. Picture Richard Jarmy Photography. - Credit: Richard Jarmy Photography

She had been experiencing shoulder pain and dislocations since February and was told to have physiotherapy. It turned out it was the tumour pressing against the nerves in her shoulder.

'When they said she had cancer we couldn't believe it, we were just all shocked and numb. To watch her go down in those four months was horrendous and as a mother to watch your child go through something you can't do anything about is one of the hardest things. The instinct is to protect your child and to make them better – but I couldn't do that, I couldn't take it away.'

Even when she was very extremely ill Amy still managed to make the people closet to her laugh. One day in the hospital she was visited by her mum, dad Steve and her two step-fathers Chris and Steve and she found the situation very amusing.

'We were standing there and she chuckled and started laughing about her three dads being in the same room and we all just cracked up. She found it hilarious and that is why they are all pallbearers.'

Gareth Innes and Amy Innes celebrate their marriage. Picture Richard Jarmy Photography.

Gareth Innes and Amy Innes celebrate their marriage. Picture Richard Jarmy Photography. - Credit: Richard Jarmy Photography

Amy spent some of her last days at Priscilla Bacon Lodge where she received care from specialist doctors in nurses.

During the last 24 hours of her life she was struggling to talk and to comfort her Lynn started reciting one of her favourite songs.

'I sang to her 'How Much is That Doggy in the Window' as she was trying to talk but kept rambling so I told her it was no good and just started singing.'

Amy's funeral will be held at Earlham Crematorium on Wednesday at 3.45pm and the family has asked that people make donation to the Priscilla Bacon Lodge instead of flowers if they wish to pay their respects to Amy.

Lynn added: 'She was just a normal girl and a normal mum but she was my girl. Amy was my world and the whole family love her and miss her so much.'

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