Life

Kind north coast stranger returns lost phone, bank cards and precious family photographs

Natasha Millar
Natasha Millar Natasha Millar

Natasha Millar carries precious photographs with her everywhere she goes. One is of her father who died suddenly and another is of her adored grandparents. When she lost her phone she knew that meant her bank cards and driving licence were also missing as they were tucked into the phone cover but so too were the pictures, and she felt heartsick at the possibility she would never get them back.

Natasha is a journalist, who you might recognise from UTV, who lectures at Ulster University and was rushing from work to school and on to the childminder's when she reaslied her phone was missing.

"Unusually for a Thursday, I was rushing to collect them all as my husband was working late. When I arrived at the school, I think I was distracted. I helped my daughter to the car and headed to collect the other two. 

"I started to have a sinking feeling about my phone on the way to the childminder's. With all the nappy bags, school bags and pack bags, it was hard to see if it had fallen on the floor. I was praying it had fallen down the side of the seat. It was starting to dawn on me this was a big problem, not only was it my phone but also my bank cards and my driving licence.

"I knew if the phone was in the car, it would be connected to the hands-free blue tooth, but as I tried to make a call - 'no phone available'. I felt physically sick because I had no idea where it could be. Had I left it in my office? Did I leave it on top of the car at some point?"

She arrived at the childminder's with her tale of woe and they rang Natasha's number, just in case the phone had been found and handed in somewhere for safekeeping, "and within a few rings it answers".

"The man who answered says he found it outside the primary school and he was at my house waiting to hand it back," Natasha explained.

"He said he was going to hand the phone in at the school but, when he saw the driving licence with my address, he drove to Coleraine to hand it back to my house. I just couldn't thank him enough. He absolutely didn't have to go the extra mile but that small gesture  - I would argue actually a big gesture - made such a difference.

"Losing a phone is annoying, cancelling bank cards is time-consuming, but also, and in many ways more importantly, within my phone cover I have two photographs, one of my grandparents from many years ago and a passport photo of my late father. My daddy died suddenly in 2013 and both these photographs are irreplaceable as I don't have digital copies. I carry them with me because they mean so much."

Natasha said she was "struck by the difference a random act of kindness can have" and that the encounter reminded her we should all "do small things with great kindness and pass on good deeds".

Read more: Random act of kindness leads to Subway cookies in Ballymena

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Natasha and two of her children
Natasha and two of her children Natasha and two of her children