London: The distraught family of an Indian-origin nurse, who got caught up in a prank call made to a hospital treating Prince William's wife Kate, believe she died of shame after falling for the hoax. 46-year-old Jacintha Saldanha was found dead at nurses' quarters next to the private King Edward VII hospital in Marylebone, central London on Friday.
Saldanha's brother Naveen has said that his sister has died of shame following the royal hospital hoax. Naveen was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying that his devoutly Catholic sister was a "proper and righteous person". She would have been "devastated" at unwittingly assisting a colleague in breaching medical confidentiality over the condition of Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.
"She would have felt much shame about the incident," Naveen said. Saldanha answered the hoax call at 5.30am on Wednesday morning, and was helping out on reception at the time of the prank. Giggling DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian were pretending to be the British Queen and Prince Charles and asked her if they could be put through to Kate.
Saldanha connected them to another nurse who gave details of Kate's condition, who was suffering from acute morning sickness at the London hospital. A recording of the conversation was broadcast on the '2Day FM' station with the RJs gleefully boasting about their successful hoax.
Saldanha, whose husband Benedict Barboza is an National Health Service accountant, moved to the UK ten years ago from Mangalore in Karnataka. Benedict, expressed his sadness on his Facebook page with a short note "Obituary Jacintha."
"I am devastated with the tragic loss of my beloved wife Jacintha in tragic circumstances," he wrote. He said she will be laid to rest in Shirva, India. Saldanha's sister-in-law Celine Barboza said the family could not understand what had caused the "strong" mother of two apparently to end her life.