Royal nurse Jacintha Saldanha was found unconscious near King Edward VII Hospital earlier today, and despite the best efforts of emergency responders, she officially expired a short time later. The forty-six-year-old recently provided care for Duchess Catherine while she was hospitalized for acute morning sickness, but sadly, the good work provided during that stint wound up being overshadowed by a prank phone call.
Saldanha was working the switchboard at the hospital earlier this week when a call came in from a duo claiming to be members of the royal family. She transferred them to a second nurse who provided an update on Kate’s condition. Unfortunately, the supposed members of the royal family were actually Australian DJs Mel Greig and Christian Michael. They were live on the air at the time, and recordings of the phone call quickly raced around the world.
Officials at the hospital reportedly sympathized with the nurses and declined to punish them for what happened, but it would seem Saldanha was unable to forgive herself. Her death is still being investigated, but at this point, it’s widely assumed to be a suicide.
According to The Daily Mail, the two DJs have been yanked off Australian airwaves, and no date has been set for their return. Rumors are circulating that they may be fired completely, but at this point, that speculation is without any facts to back it up.
Saldanha reportedly lived in Bristol with her long-time partner Ben and her two teenage children. During the portion of the week she worked at King Edward VII Hospital, she reportedly stayed in London. By all accounts, she was a very nice woman, and her death has caused an outpouring of support from her co-workers, her hospital and even the royal family who appreciated her service.
Pop Blend’s sincerest thoughts go out to all those affected by this tragedy. Jacintha will be missed.