Ashes of former Neale-Wade student found washed up on remote UK shore
PUBLISHED: 11:57 15 March 2018 | UPDATED: 11:57 15 March 2018
A pink plastic bottle containing ashes of a March woman who died in 2016 have been found washed up in a remote area of the Outer Hebrides.
Laura Newman, who died at just 24-years-old, was battling with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy after she twisted her ankle on holiday.
The complex condition, which left her bedbound by the age of 16, resulted in her needing a wheelchair and made daily tasks like moving and eating impossible.
Eventually her only contact with the outside world was through her online friends.
Before she passed away she made her parents, Fay and Andy, promise to not put her on life support – which they stood by on the night of her death.
After Laura died, her parents wanted to scatter her ashes at all the locations where she loved to travel.
They placed some in a pink plastic bottle and sent it out to sea so the budding traveller could continue her journey.
While out on a walk with his brother John Macleod found the bottle on the shore of Scalpay, Outer Hebrides.
The 44-year-old fisherman was touched by the note and wanted to hear about the bottle’s travels for years to come.
He said: “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 and probably never will again.
“I threw the bottle back into the sea last week to let it continue its journey and hopefully the wind hasn’t just sent it back in our direction.
“It just brings amazement to everyone that it’s travelled virtually from Land’s End to Scalpay in about seven months.
“Everyone I’ve told has been amazed about it.
“I think it’s a beautiful story.
“It feels like fate that we found it out on the exact date, 18 months on from when she died.
Left on the note was an email address, but Laura’s parents had accidently written the wrong one.
John was so determined to find her parents that he tried every possible combination until he found Fay Mewman, Laura’s mum.
Fay said that John was the first person to get back to her.
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.
“We put a note in the bottle with some of her ashes to ask anyone who finds it to let us know.
“We’ve looked at Scalpay online and it’s beautiful. She would have loved it.
“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.
“She made friends with people all around the world, never judging their beliefs, race or colour.
“She had wanted to go to university and be a doctor from an early age.
“She was such a caring person. She would have made a brilliant doctor.
“We know that if there is life after this one, she will strive to achieve all the things she missed out on in this life.”