Nurse Who Took Prank Call at Kate's Hospital Found Dead

December 9, 2012, 11:08 am People.com whomagazine

Duchess is "extremely saddened" by death of royal nurse

Nurse Who Took Prank Call at Kate s Hospital Found Dead

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The nurse who answered a prank call to the hospital treating the Duchess of Cambridge for severe morning sickness was found dead in an apparent suicide.

"It is with deep sadness that I can confirm the tragic death of a member of our nursing staff, Jacintha Saldanha," John Lofthouse, the chief executive of King Edward VII Hospital in London, said in a statement. "She was an excellent nurse and well respected and popular with all of her colleagues. We can confirm that Jacintha was recently the victim of a hoax call to the hospital."

On Tuesday, two radio disc jockeys – Mel Greig and Michael Christian from Australia's 2DayFM – called the hospital impersonating Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles and inquired about Kate, who was released on Thursday morning.

Greig & Christian (image courtesy of Twitter)

The hospital said Wednesday that it deeply regretted the call had been put through to one of the nurses who was caring for the Duchess.

Saldanha was found dead on Thursday of a suspected suicide, according to The Times of London.

"The hospital had been supporting her through this very difficult time [since the hoax]," the hospital executive said. "Jacintha was a first-class nurse who cared diligently for hundreds of patients during her time with us. Everyone is shocked by the loss of the much-loved and valued colleague. Out thoughts and deepest sympathies are with her family and friends."

On Friday, a St. James's Palace spokesman released a statement: "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jacintha Saldanha. Their Royal Highnesses were looked after so wonderfully well at all times by everybody at King Edward VII Hospital, and their thoughts and prayers are with Jacintha Saldanha's family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time."

The radio station, which broadcast the call on the air, said on Wednesday that the prank "was done with lighthearted intentions."

But in a statement on Friday, the Australian media company Southern Cross Austereo wrote on its Facebook page that they are "deeply saddened by the tragic news of the death of the nurse, Jacintha Saldanha from King Edward V11 Hospital and we extend our deepest sympathies to her family, and all that have been affected by this situation around the world."

The statement also said that the hosts would not be returning to their radio show until further notice "out of respect for what can only be described as a tragedy."

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  1. Miri12:13pm Tuesday 11th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    those 2 DJ's now shamed! lesson learned to those so called wanna be funny (not!) DJ's out there!

  2. Phobophobe10:12pm Sunday 09th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I think it's simply disgusting to call a hospital nurse at 2 in the morning. Anyone with any intelligence would know that hospital staff are over-worked, over-stressed and under-paid. I'm sure the British press are also to blame. But that doesn't excuse the behaviour of these two pranksters. It would be naive to think that this is going to change anything. As for the 'sorrow' and 'sympathy' of the Australian press managers. Excuse me, but don't take everyone for total idiots, we're talking about the press. They make their livings from this sort of thing.


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