Suicide Details of Prank Call Nurse Jacintha Saldanha Are Devastating

More devastating details have emerged in the tragedy of Jacintha Saldanha, who committed suicide following getting caught up in a prank call made by two Australian radio DJs to pregnant Kate Middleton's hospital room.

Though it's consistently been reported that she most likely committed suicide, the coroner's report now verifies that Jacinda did kill herself. And the details are utterly tragic.


Jacinda was found three days after the prank call aired, in an apartment she stayed at near the hospital where she worked, King Edward VII Hospital in London, where the Duchess was being treated for extreme morning sickness. Her family, including her two teenage daughters and her husband, lived 120 miles away in Bristol, and she would travel back regularly to see them.

But when her husband, Ben Barboza, didn't hear from his wife one day, he called the hospital and asked a nurse to check on her. The nurse received no response from inside Jacinda's apartment, so he waited for her to return home the next day. When she didn't, Ben again called the hospital, and this time found out about her death. There are questions over why the hospital didn't inform him sooner.

Jacinda had a scarf hanging around her neck that was tied to a door frame. She also had "injuries" (which are not detailed) to her wrists. She left three suicide notes, the contents of which have not been divulged to the media.

It now seems more clear that the prank call sparked the suicide -- Jacinda's husband stopped hearing from her on Tuesday, which was the same day of the call. And the family has already said they believe the call was the cause of her suicide. But we won't know her reasons for absolute certain unless the notes are released.

It's beyond comprehension that a woman would leave her children parentless rather than deal with the fallout from a rather silly prank of which she wasn't even the one to hand out private information. Did the hospital threaten her job? Did she, as the Smiths' coo-coo frontman Morrissey seems to believe, get pressure from the royal family? Was she suffering from other issues like depression? Did her Indian background mean that she would feel extreme "shame" (as her family said) over this honest mistake? She's been described as being very religious, upstanding, and generous.

This tragedy must have producers of TV and radio shows all over the world reconsidering pranks. What is harmless fun to one person might be devastating embarrassment to another.

Why do you think the nurse killed herself?


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