A nurse at London’s King Edward VII hospital who took a hoax call about the Duchess of Cambridge has been found dead. The hospital, which has paid tribute to “a first class nurse”, named the woman as Jacintha Saldanha. Police were called at 09:35 GMT to reports of a woman found unconscious at an address in central London. BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt said he understood Mrs Saldanha was the person who answered the call from the Australian DJs and was not the nurse who discussed the duchess’s medical condition.
I had heard the call and had mixed feelings about it. For one, it wasn’t funny. I’m not a fan of ridiculous DJs pulling stunts. On the other hand, it was clearly a hoax. This poor woman may not have known HOW to respond to such a thing and was confused. She made an honest mistake.
Hoaxes can be devastating to the person who is on the receiving end. We don’t know what she died from but speculation is it is connected with this recent event that must have been tremendously stressful on her.
Lesson? Your actions have unintended consequences.
From the BBC:
BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt said he understood Mrs Saldanha – who was staying in hospital accommodation close to King Edward VII hospital – was the person who answered the call from the Australian DJs and was not the nurse who discussed the duchess’s medical condition.
Mrs Saldanha, a duty nurse who was married with two children, answered the telephone because it was 05:30 GMT and there was no receptionist on duty.
The BBC understands Mrs Saldanha had not been suspended or disciplined by the hospital.
The BBC’s Nicholas Witchell said it had been suggested to him that she had felt “very lonely and confused” as a result of what had happened.
The Palace expressed their condolences and said they did not complain to the hospital. The Australian Communications and Media Authority has received complaints about the call and the hospital has suggested that laws may have broken.
The death is not being treated as suspicious.
The Sydney radio station that made a hoax call to the hospital treating the Duchess of Cambridge – three days before the nurse who took the call apparently killed herself – has frequently attracted controversy.
While the call purporting to be from the Queen and Prince Charles was made by presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian, in August 2009, Kyle Sandilands, a shock jock on 2Day FM, sparked a public backlash following a lie-detector stunt in which a 14-year-old girl revealed she had been raped.