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Home > Topics > Weird EMS News

Nurse involved in Royal Family hoax dies

After falling victim to a radio prank, Jacintha Saldanha was found dead

By Danick Kirka
Associated Press

LONDON — A nurse who fell victim to a prank telephone call seeking information about the Duchess of Cambridge has died, King Edward VII hospital said Friday.

The hospital said Jacintha Saldanha took the hoax call by two Australian radio disc jockeys who impersonated Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles to elicit information on the duchess. Saldanha later transferred the call to the nurse caring for the Duchess, who is pregnant and was suffering from acute morning sickness.

Saldanha was found dead early Friday. Police say her death is unexplained.

"Our thoughts and deepest sympathies at this time are with her family and friends," said John Lofthouse, the hospital's chief executive said in a statement. "Everyone is shocked by the loss of a much loved and valued colleague."

St. James's Palace also expressed sadness at the death.

"Their royal highnesses were looked after so wonderfully well at all times by everybody at King Edward VII Hospital, and their thoughts and prayers are with Jacintha Saldanha's family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time," the palace said in a statement.

The prank phone call took place early Tuesday and the two radio personalities apologized the following day.

A woman using the often-mimicked voice of Britain's monarch asked after the duchess' health. She was told by the second nurse who took the call from Saldanha that the duchess, the former Kate Middleton, "hasn't had any retching with me and she's been sleeping on and off."

The nurse went on to tell the personalities that the duchess had had an uneventful night, as a dog yapped in the background. The alleged queen and prince talk about traveling to the hospital to check in on the patient.

The hospital said it supported Saldanha in the aftermath of the call and that its phone protocols were under review.

The Australian station 2DayFM placed the recording of the conversation on its website but later said it was sorry. Australian radio personalities Mel Greig and Michael Christian also apologized for the hoax.

"We were very surprised that our call was put through. We thought we'd be hung up on as soon as they heard our terrible accents," they said in a joint statement with the station at the time. "We're very sorry if we've caused any issues and we're glad to hear that Kate is doing well."

Associated PressCopyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Officials from St. James's Palace have said the duchess is not yet 12 weeks pregnant. The child would be the first for her and Prince William.

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Stacey Groncki Stacey Groncki Friday, December 07, 2012 9:28:12 AM Assholes. They should be fired.
Stephen Hines Stephen Hines Friday, December 07, 2012 9:32:43 AM This needs to become a very clear message to the media. Any deception used in order to gain access to medical information is unacceptable. Those involved must be held to account for this...
Nancy Mcmahon Nancy Mcmahon Friday, December 07, 2012 9:34:03 AM this is just sad! you just never know how a person will react and this is just one example of how things can go so terribly wrong!
Paul Edward Morris Paul Edward Morris Friday, December 07, 2012 9:40:56 AM Apologies NOT accepted... Too many First Amendment abusers seem to feel pranking is a good way to retain listeners ... To entertain the Brain-dead perverts out there... My Boys feel it is FUN to listen to...since I am a staunch conservative, and all ... I pull the plug on their Entertainment... Scolding them sharply. Telling them plenty of people get seriously hurt as a result of Pranking... There is no humor in hurting people... Who cares about feelings ... When people harm themselves as a last resort to get away from the pain... I am sick-n-tired of people hiding behind their Radio Station Microphones, retarded people in NBC Sports Jackets and seek to destroy people's lives... It's wrong ... It is deviant behavior... It needs to stop now !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Natalie Pollock Natalie Pollock Friday, December 07, 2012 10:09:29 AM I agree with you when you say no one has the right to make fun of others or hurt others by what they say or do, but Jesus says that we are to forgive others, "not 7 times but 70×7". If we don't forgive others, even those we don't know, we shouldn't expect others to forgive us. ;-) Another thing EVERYONE needs to remember is this. Even though God is a forgiving compassionate God He is a jealous God. And vengeance belongs to Him and Him alone! God loves all of us no matter what we do, but not everyone loves Him! I applaud everyone who teaches their children that it is wrong to hurt others by words, action, or deed.
Paul Edward Morris Paul Edward Morris Friday, December 07, 2012 10:16:13 AM Agreed indeed .... It important to note... I am not seeking to do anything except to find a way to shut these Radio Personalities down... Like get their FCC Licenses pulled ...
Mike Racine-Frisone Mike Racine-Frisone Friday, December 07, 2012 10:24:50 AM Umm, they are in England. They don't have a First Ammendment. I still believe they need to be fired and maybe charges pressed for contributing to the death of this nurse.
Anna Davis Anna Davis Friday, December 07, 2012 11:07:27 AM That's what people don't understand. The smallest most "innocent" joke in your opinion can push somebody over the edge! Having been suicidal in the past I know how it is. Just a laugh or a giggle can hurt but to be played is terrible. This should be a message not only to the media but EVERYONE, that words hurt and that even a small joke at someone might push them to end their life. So many people don't understand because they have never been there. I feel that these people should take responsibility and realize that their actions caused her to take her life.
Chris M Mizuik Chris M Mizuik Friday, December 07, 2012 11:37:44 AM fired and charged........
Robbie Jill Paul Robbie Jill Paul Friday, December 07, 2012 12:28:25 PM The majority of the media are a bunch of scumbags...that being said, who really cares about some pampered spoiled little drama queen and her morning sickness? She needs to buck up!
Chris Jung Chris Jung Friday, December 07, 2012 7:29:22 PM Actually they were austrailian.. And While agree it was in bad taste.. they did nothing that the paparazzi has not done many times before. If i was to ring a doorbell and then run away, then the person died a week later.. I could not and should not be blamed for the death.. All she did was pass on the phone, to the nurse who gave personal medical information over the phone.
Louis DiMattia Louis DiMattia Friday, December 07, 2012 10:50:38 PM What if the nurse's death is a hoax just to get back at the radio jocks?
Robert Gift Robert Gift Saturday, December 08, 2012 4:31:22 PM How sad. How STUPID of her. T'was a JOKE. They fooled her. So what? Be a little embarrassed that you were fooled, see the humor in it and go on with your life. Sickening. Good job, radio personalities, for pulling off the joke.
James Dickson James Dickson Sunday, December 09, 2012 10:38:00 AM According to the article, the radio station is in Australia.
Jennifer Lynn Jones Jennifer Lynn Jones Sunday, December 09, 2012 1:06:38 PM I don't like surprises, getting scared or pranced on. It's embarrassing & just makes me mean
Jennifer Lynn Jones Jennifer Lynn Jones Sunday, December 09, 2012 1:07:00 PM Pranked
Jennifer Lynn Jones Jennifer Lynn Jones Sunday, December 09, 2012 1:11:00 PM I read the article Paul Edward Morris but how did the nurse die?? Sorry just confused here.
Paul Edward Morris Paul Edward Morris Sunday, December 09, 2012 2:32:45 PM Apparent Suicide .
Robert Gift Robert Gift Tuesday, December 11, 2012 6:44:19 AM What was wrong with the nurse that she would kill herself over the Royal family? They are mostly useless people. You were pranked. Get over it and laugh. The hospital should have an extra procedure for when someone is wishing to contact a celebrity patient.

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