Kate nurse who took hoax call found dead
Duke, Duchess of Cambridge saddened by death of nurse who took call from Australia
CBC News Posted: Dec 7, 2012 10:44 AM ET Last Updated: Dec 7, 2012 2:33 PM ET
The nurse who took a hoax call from two Australian broadcasters at the hospital treating the Duchess of Cambridge in London earlier this week has been found dead, King Edward VII's Hospital confirmed today.
The hospital said Jacintha Saldanha had been a victim of the call made by two Australian radio disc jockeys.
Saldhana was the first to answer the call Tuesday from two Australian broadcasters posing as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles seeking information about the condition of the duchess.
Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, was admitted to hospital earlier this week with severe morning sickness early into her pregnancy. (Alastair Grant/Associated Press)Her first responses and those of a second nurse to whom she transferred the call were recorded and broadcast.
Kate had been admitted to the hospital on Monday, suffering from acute morning sickness.
"This is a tragic event," hospital chairman Lord Glenarthur said in a statement. "Jacintha was a first-class nurse who cared diligently for hundreds of patients during her time with us. She will be greatly missed."
The hospital added: "We can confirm that Jacintha was recently the victim of a hoax call to the hospital. The hospital had been supporting her throughout this difficult time."
Prince William and Kate issued a statement saying they were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Saldanha.
"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 statement said.
In the call from Australia on Tuesday, a woman doing a less-than-perfect imitation of Queen Elizabeth asked about the duchess's health.
She was told by a 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 Kate had had an uneventful night. The phoney queen and prince talked about travelling 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.
Scotland Yard said initially today that they were treating a woman's death as "unexplained."
Paramedics had been unable to revive her.
The Royal College of Nursing in the U.K. issued a statement that said, "It is deeply saddening that a simple human error due to a cruel hoax could lead to the death of a dedicated and caring member of the nursing profession."
In Australia, people quickly began to attack the perpetrators of the hoax call, 2DayFM personalities Mel Greig and Michael Christian, who had apologized for the prank.
"The best you deserve is to lose all of your listeners and be closed down," wrote one commenter. "Who is going to take responsibility for this??"
The station said Friday that Greig and Christian were "deeply saddened by the tragic news" of the nurse's death.
The statement announced that the pair have agreed not to comment on the "circumstances" and that they and the station "have decided that they will not return to their radio show until further notice out of respect for what can only be described as a tragedy."
Although I feel bad for the nurse, is this really the fault of the DJ's? Not the fault of the insane media over in Britain? Not the fault of any of the hospital staff criticizing her for her mistake? Not potentially the fault of representatives of the Monarchy getting involved?
When I heard about this story, I thought it was humorous, and that was all. I didn't even care to look up the details. But I imagine the crazies in Britain were all over this story and the poor nurse.
Edited by D-Money, 07 December 2012 - 12:57 PM.