Royal Prank Call Nurse's Family 'Shattered'

Royal Prank Call Nurse's Family 'Shattered'

The children of the nurse found dead days after taking a prank call say they are "shattered" by their loss.

Jacintha Saldanha was discovered in a nurses' accommodation block close to King Edward VII's Hospital, London, where the Duchess of Cambridge was treated for severe morning sickness.

The 46-year-old answered a phone call from Australian radio presenters Michael Christian and Mel Greig, who pretended to be Prince Charles and the Queen and asked for an update on the duchess's health.

A service for Ms Saldanha, a mother-of-two, was held at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday.

Outside, her daughter Lisha said: "We will miss your laughter, the loving memories and the good times we had together.

"We are shattered and there is an unfillable void in our lives.

"We love you mum. Sleep in peace and please watch over us until we meet again in heaven."

Ms Saldanha's husband Benedict Barboza said his wife was "the light of my darkness who always showed me the way forward".

"From the day we met, you always stood by me, in times of hardship and happiness," he said.

"Nineteen years of togetherness, with a strong bond of affection and understanding, will be cherished forever in my life."

Mr Barboza's son Junal added: "In times of difficulty, you showed us the way forward to happiness and success."

On Friday, John Lofthouse, chief executive of King Edward VII's Hospital, said staff had stood by Ms Saldanha and insisted the nurse was the "victim of a cruel trick".

Writing in reply to a letter sent by Keith Vaz MP, Mr Lofthouse said: "Jacintha believed that the call was genuine, and she felt it appropriate to put the call through. We stand by her judgement.

"Jacintha was reassured on a number of occasions by senior management that no blame was attached to her actions and that there were no disciplinary issues involved, because she had been the victim of a cruel trick."

Ms Saldanha's funeral will be held at a church in India on Monday.

An inquest into her death, which opened on Thursday, heard Ms Saldanha had hanged herself. She left two notes in her room and another among her personal possessions.

A provisional date of March 26 has been set for the next inquest hearing.