It was a prank that went horribly wrong resulting in the death of a 46 year old nurse from Mangalore. Jacintha Saldanha who hails from Mangalore was working as a nurse at the King Edward VII Hospital in London. She was married into a family from Shirva in the Udupi district.
Jacintha answered a call by two Australian radio presenters and was fooled into transferring the call which led to disclosures on the health conditions of Kate Williams, Dutechess of Cambridge who was admitted at the hospital for acute morning sickness. The call was broadcast on radio and the details of Kate’s health spread across the world. The call was answered by Jacintha on Friday and later the police found her dead in her apartment and it is suspected that it was a case of suicide.
Her family is in a state of shock after learning about this tragic incident. When contacted by rediff.com, the family was hardly able to speak. Her mother-in-law, Carmine said that they are still awaiting more details and added that this incident has shocked them.
Jacintha originally hails from Valencia in Mangalore and was married to Benedict Barboza a residentof Shirva in Udupi district around 100 kilometres from Mangalore. She got married in the year 1993 and has two children Junal (16) and Lisa (14). She completed her nursing from the Father Muller College in Mangalore in the year 1984. After working in Mangalore for three years, she moved to Muscat. In the year 2010, she moved to UK with her husband. As the family awaits for more details and also for the body to arrive in India, they say that all they know now is that she is no more. My son Benedict had called and told us that Jacintha is no more. We do not know anything more, her mother-in-law said.
We were waiting for her to come down to India and were looking forward to her visit. She usually comes down every two years during Christmas and the entire family would meet, she also informed.
Carmine also adds that they do not know what exactly led to this tragedy. We are told that it is a case of suicide, but all through we were never informed that it was a result of a prank call.
Her family remembers her very fondly and said that this is a very unfair incident. She was down to earth and always ensured that others were comfortable her family members said. She would not eat her food until the rest had done, her sister in law, Janet and Irene say. We do not know why such an extreme step was taken. From what we read, we realized that it was not her fault and it was a result of a prank call. She was a disciplinarian by nature and we feel that she did not take this prank too kindly. The hospital had not taken any action against her and neither had anyone blamed her for this. We do not understand why she had to do this, family members also pointed out.
Her family members however do not know the exact date of the funeral. We are waiting for more details as there are several formalities yet to be completed. She will be laid to rest at Shirva. There has been outpouring of grief ever since the news of her death became public. Family and well wishers have been visiting her home at Shirva and extending support to the family.