Indian family of dead nurse who took prank call "shocked"

9th December 2012, Comments 0 comments

The family of the Indian-origin nurse who died after being hoaxed by an Australian radio show trying to reach Prince William's wife in London said they were shocked to hear the "horrible news".

Jacintha Saldanha, 46, had answered a prank call at the King Edward VII hospital that was treating Prince William's pregnant wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge for morning sickness.

She had put the call from the station through to a colleague, who relayed details about Kate's condition which made headlines around the globe. Saldanha was later found dead in staff accommodation.

Her family living in Shirva town, 400 kilometres (250 miles) from the southern Indian city of Bangalore said they could not believe Jacintha was capable of taking her own life.

"We were shocked to hear from her husband (Benedict Barboza) that Jacintha was no more. He did not tell us that she committed suicide," Jacintha's sister-in-law, Irene D'Souza told AFP over telephone.

"It is hard to believe Jacintha could commit suicide, as she was not such a woman to do it."

D'Souza said Jacintha was planning to come to India to celebrate Christmas with the family who were all planning a big party.

"But today we are going to the church to pray for her soul and for her children who are going through a bad time."

While media are calling Saldhanha's death a suspected suicide, the police, ahead of an autopsy next week, are saying it remains unexplained, though they are not treating it as suspicious.

Over 300 people attended the memorial service for Jacintha held in Shriva on Sunday.

"Jacintha enjoyed her work and she was committed to her job and her family life was normal too. She must have been very disturbed to take such a drastic step," said Jacintha's cousin, Mary, who goes by one name.

"She had plans to start a nursing centre in India and encouraged several young girls to study medicine. Her positive energy made all the difference."

Over 300 people attended the memorial service for Jacintha held in Shriva on Sunday.

William and Kate, who left the hospital last week said they were "deeply saddened" by the death of the nurse.

Saldanha lived with her husband and two children in the western English city of Bristol. She had moved to Britain from India around 12 years ago.

© 2012 AFP

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