Kate hoax call: Nurse`s family wants answers, writes to hospital, radio

Last Updated: Sunday, December 23, 2012 - 21:11

London: The family of an Indian nurse who was found dead after being caught in a royal prank call has written to the British hospital that employed her, demanding answers to several questions surrounding the incident and her condition before her death.

The grieving family has assembled a set of 60 questions which they have posed to the hospital as well as to the parent company of the Australian radio station that played the prank as they seek answers to the circumstances surrounding her death.

The letters were sent by Labour MP Keith Vaz, who is acting as a spokesman for the family at their request, with some of the questions suggesting the hospital may not have taken extra security measures during the stay of a pregnant Kate Middleton, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

"Was there any indication that Jacintha was under increased pressure or stress in the weeks preceding her death?" asks the family in one of the questions.

A question also suggests that the nurse may have been involved in a dispute with a colleague a few weeks before the Duchess was admitted while another implies that the 46-year-old may have been `spoken to` by the hospital`s matron on phone a day after the prank call.

Saldanha`s body was discovered on December 7, and the notes left by her suggested that she may have been under pressure after she fell for the prank.

While 40 questions have been directed to the King Edward VII`s Hospital, where Saldanha worked, another 20 have been posed to Southern Cross Austereo, the parent company of 2Day FM, whose RJs were behind the prank.

The letter to the company asks why nobody from the company or the radio station attempted to contact the family since the hoax call led to the tragedy. It also asks if there was "any evidence" that 2Day FM staff called the hospital five times to alert them that they were about to broadcast the prank.

"On December 11 the family handed you a list of questions that specifically relate to the hospital. They have not had a written confirmation of the answers. They now have additional questions (and) would like answers... As soon as possible," wrote Vaz in a letter to John Lofthouse, the chief executive of the hospital.

The paper said Saldanha`s husband Benedict Barboza, son Junal and adopted daughter Lisha have returned to Britain after her funeral in India.

The report also said that the nurse had made two attempts to kill herself during a visit to India last December -- first with an overdose of pills after which she had to be rushed to a hospital and nine days later by jumping off a building.

She spent several days in intensive care before receiving psychiatric treatment and being prescribed antidepressants, the report said.

Her family said the nurse was ashamed after taking the
hoax call during which she had revealed confidential medical information about Kate who was being treated for acute morning sickness.

The report said she was so ashamed that she did not tell her family about the episode, just asking her husband to watch the news.

"The first her husband knew that she was the victim of the hoax call was when police told him she was dead. Nobody in the family knew," said her younger brother Naveen Saldanha, 42.

"They spoke several times that week but she did not tell him or the kids anything about it".

A hospital spokesman declined to comment on reports that Ms Saldanha had previously tried to commit suicide.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, December 23, 2012 - 21:11

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