It’s been five years since Jacintha Saldanha, a senior royal nurse charged with the care of a pregnant Duchess of Cambridge took her life. Two Australian radio DJs pranked her into revealing details about Kate’s pregnancy with Prince George. Saldanha’s family is still healing. they are establishing a hospital in Saldanha’s hometown in Mangalore, India to honour her memory.
Saldanha committed suicide three days after the prank call by hanging herself. The DJs impersonated Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles. Saldanha transferred the call to the duty nurse looking after Catherine to which this nurse disclosed the confidential information. The call was recorded and broadcast. In emails following her suicide, Saldanha expressed great remorse and regret for her part in breaching the Duchess’s privacy.
Saldanha’s daughter, Janice Pinto, told Australia’s WHO magazine the family is “coping and getting on with our lives.” on the fifth anniversary of her mom’s death.
She revealed, “The first few years were the hardest,” the 20-year-old said. “She would call me every day at 6 p.m., just before she went to work. To check up… That phone call is what I miss every day.”
Her son, Junal Barboza, added, “She was the sort of person who would always go the extra mile to help a family member, and we’ve had a number of significant letters from people within the medical profession telling us just how good she was at her job.”
Since his mother’s death, he’s learned a great deal about her dedication to her work. This knowledge has come from the outpouring of support from those in the medical community and community in general: “Learning about her was a real eye-opener and has provided the stepping stone for what we want to achieve,” he told WHO magazine. “Whatever I do now, any achievement, will be for her and for my dad and for my family. That is the way that I kind of live my life.”
After Saldanha’s suicide, The Royal Palace issued a statement in support of the 46-year-old: “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jacintha 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.”
Prince William later wrote to the family, according to People, “We were both very shocked to hear about Jacintha, and have been thinking a lot about her recently. Many of the nurses in the hospital spoke highly of her and I’m sure you know how great a nurse she was.”
The backlash against DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian was severe. In 2014, following an inquest, Greig issued a tearful apology to Saldanha’s family.
Saldanha’s widower and children are building a hospital that should open sometime next year. Benedict Barboza, her widower said the 200-bed hospital will “take care of the poor people, the sick people from the roadsides.”