Our messages in a bottle after teen’s tragic death
- Credit: Archant
When a heartbroken family put messages in bottles in memory of their much-loved daughter and sister, who died suddenly on her 18th birthday, they were not expecting much of a response.
But sure enough, the heartfelt tribute to mark the anniversary of Emma-Jane Page's tragic death from epilepsy has been picked up from across the seas.
The former Benjamin Britten High School and Elm Tree Middle School pupil was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was eight years old and died after suffering a fit on October 21, 2012.
Her mother, Emma Page, found her daughter when she went into her room singing happy birthday.
Her family have marked her birthday for the past few years by highlighting the dangers of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), so sufferers can take action to reduce their risks.
You may also want to watch:
To mark Emma-Jane's birthday in 2014 the family – including sisters Lauren and Yasmin, brother Ryan and grandma Jane Smith – filled plastic bottles with pink feathers and pebbles, as well as a note about Emma-Jane and SUDEP, before throwing them into the sea at Ness Point, Lowestoft.
They received their first reply on Christmas Eve that same year from the west coast of Norway and have since received another message from Norway and, most recently, a reply from Iceland in June this year.
- 1 Family forced to live in tent after maggots and rats found in home
- 2 £6.1m shopping street revamp will take half of 2022 to complete
- 3 Councils could spend millions to buy former Aviva office for new HQ
- 4 Five former MoD homes go up for sale near Norwich
- 5 Christmas Lights Walk with toasted marshmallows coming to garden
- 6 MP and parents concerned over traffic and parking chaos outside school
- 7 Man arrested on suspicion of stalking after notes left on women's cars
- 8 Two fires in two hours on mid-Norfolk road
- 9 Blind woman 'humiliated' as restaurant turns her away due to her guide dog
- 10 City keeper diagnosed with testicular cancer
A Norwegian newspaper also ran an article about Emma-Jane and SUDEP after the first bottle was found.
Responding to one of the replies, Miss Page said: 'I never expected them to travel so far or get any replies at all.
'I was so happy I cried with happy tears. It was an amazing feeling to receive a letter and so kind of them to take the time to reply.'
Miss Page said doctors hadn't known anything about SUDEP until after her daughter's death.
'There are groups on Facebook and there are thousands of people who have lost a loved one because of it,' she said.
'I could have used anti-suffocation pillows and I could have had an alarm on her bed if I had known.
'It wouldn't have saved her but I could have been with her when she fitted and put her in the recovery position.'
Miss Page said her daughter was 'cheeky and witty' with an 'infectious laugh and a smile that would brighten up the room'.
She said Emma-Jane had suffered bullying at school because of her epilepsy and had struggled to cope with her condition.
However, after leaving school she had started a beauty course and had been happy and less stressed, which resulted in her suffering fewer seizures.
The night before she died, Miss Page decorated the living room for her daughter's birthday and baked her a cake.
The pair had spent the evening together laughing and joking, while Emma-Jane painted her mum's nails.
Got a story? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01502 525 820