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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

World

Indian-origin nurse' family mourns 'unfillable void'
PTI
London, December 15, 2012
First Published: 18:31 IST(15/12/2012)
Last Updated: 20:30 IST(15/12/2012)
Husband of Indian-origin nurse Jacintha Saldanha, Benedict Barboza, second left, speaks to the media as his son Junal, 16, left looks on and daughter Lisha, 14, second right is comforted by Member of Parliament, Keith Vaz outside the Westminster Cathedral in London after a memorial service for nurse who took her own life after answering a hoax phone call at King Edward VII hospital where she worked. (AP Photo)

The grieving children of an Indian-origin nurse, who was found dead following a hoax call to a London hospital treating Kate Middleton, on Saturday paid an emotional tribute to their mother, saying her death has left an "unfillable void" in their lives.

"We will miss your laughter and loving smile and memories we had together. The house is empty," said Jacintha Saldanha's daughter Lisha, 14, and son Junal, 16, in a joint tribute read out on their behalf during a mass held at Westminster Cathedral.

"We are shattered and there is an unfillable void in our lives. We love you mum," they said. 46-year-old Saldanha's husband Benedict Barboza held the
hands of his children as they entered the church.

Benedict, through the priest, said: "I love you and I will miss you forever." Saldanha had transferred a prank call from two DJs of an Australian radio station, believing they were the Queen and Prince of Wales, to a colleague who described in detail the condition of Kate during her hospital stay for severe pregnancy sickness.

Later, she was found hanging in her nurses' quarters at King Edward VII's Hospital by a colleague and a security guard on December 7. Meanwhile, a private memorial service was held at the hospital where staff gathered to pay their respects to Saldanha.

An inquest into her death yesterday heard that Saldanha left three suicide notes, with The Guardian reporting that one of the notes criticised staff at the hospital.

It is believed the nurse's suicide note has left her grieving family furious, with husband Barboza wanting an inquiry into the incident. Speaking to the Daily Mirror about Saldanha's suicide notes, a source close to the family said, "one of the letters, which is the longest, deals with the hospital and is critical in its tone.

"Needless to say, Ben wants a full inquiry into what happened and he wants to make sure the truth comes out. Within the letter, Jacintha calls into question some of the treatment she received at the hospital".

In another note, the mother-of two describes how she struggled to come to terms with the prank call by the two Australian DJs. The third and final letter is practical and deals with her funeral plans.

During a five-minute hearing at Westminster Coroner's Court yesterday, it was revealed that attempts were made to revive the nurse but they were "to no avail".

"Jacintha Saldanha was found by a colleague and a member of security staff. Sadly she was found hanging. There were also injuries to her wrist. The London Ambulance Service was called to the scene. At this time there are no suspicious circumstances," Detective Chief Inspector James Harman said.

Scotland Yard detectives are examining the notes, as well as interviewing Saldanha's friends, family and colleagues at the hospital.


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