A message in a bottle containing the ashes of a young woman who wanted to see the world has been washed up in one of the remotes parts of the UK.
Fisherman John Macleod found the touching tribute in a small pink bottle on the shore of Scalpay, Outer Hebrides in Scotland while taking a walk with his brother.
“When we sat down and opened the bottle and saw there was a message inside we got a bit of a shock. I’ve never seen something like it and probably never will again,” he said.
The pink plastic bottle, that was originally sent out to sea in Cornwall about 310 miles away, contained a small amount of Laura Newman’s ashes along with a note asking those who find it to get in touch with her parents.
Newman was only 24-years-old when she passed away on in August 2016. She suffered from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy after twisting her ankle on holiday which caused her an extreme amount of pain.
She had trouble moving, eating, couldn’t tolerate light, vibration or loud noise around her and her only contact with the outside world was eventually through her online friends.
Her parents wanted to scatter her ashes at all the places where she loved to travel and to put some of them in a pink bottle so she could continue her journey.
“It’s traveled virtually from Land’s End to Scalpay in about seven months,” Macleod said. “I think it’s a beautiful story.”
He added, “It feels like fate that we found it out on the exact date of the 18 months on from when she died.”
Macleod found the email address in the hand-written message was wrong but persisted with trying out different emails until he got the right one.
The 44-year-old fisherman threw the bottle back into the sea at the same spot he found it, to let it continue its journey.
Laura Newman’s mother, 59-year-old Fay Newman, revealed that Macleod was the first person to get back to her.
“This is the first time someone has gotten back to us and hopefully we’ll be hearing from people for years to come. We’ve looked at Scalpay online and it’s beautiful. She would have loved it,” she said.
“We wanted to scatter her ashes in all of the places that she liked to go and we’re still going to scatter them wherever we go on holiday. But my husband had the idea to put some of her ashes into a pink bottle so that she could continue traveling.”
“Laura loved going to Cornwall and researching where her online friends were from but unfortunately wasn’t able to see as much of the world as she would have liked,” her mother said. “She made friends with people all around the world, never judging people for their beliefs, race or color.”
The night before her death, her mother sat by Laura’s bedside and made something for her to eat before she attempted to sleep.
But the pain caused by her condition meant that she would struggle to sleep but on that fateful night, she also struggled to breathe—causing both an air and regular ambulance to be called to their home.
Laura had made her parents promise to never keep her on life support and they stood by their promise. A coroner’s report revealed that she died from a combination of ingestion of vomit, intestinal blockage, and RSD.
Laura was an aspiring doctor and had hoped to go to university.
“She was such a caring person, she would have made a brilliant doctor,” her mother said.
“We know that if there is life after this one that she will strive to achieve all the things she missed out on in this life.”