File this under “tragic if true”: Jacintha Saldanha, a hospital employee who was recently disciplined for connecting a prank call to Kate Middleton’s nurse, was found dead today of an apparent suicide. As The Daily Mail reports, Saldanha had only days earlier fallen victim to an Australian radio show’s childish stunt:
Nurse Ms Saldanha answered the hoax call at 5.30am on Wednesday morning, and was helping out on reception at the time of the prank. Giggling DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian were pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles and asked her if they could be put through to Catherine. Jacintha connected them to another nurse who gave details of Kate’s condition, who was suffering from acute morning sickness at the London hospital.
And of the reported suicide:
The woman’s unconscious body was found at an address yards away from King Edward VII Hospital, where she worked, just before 9.30am today. The emergency services were called and two ambulances were [dispatched] to the central London residence. But paramedics were unable to revive her and she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Scotland Yard is currently investigating the tragedy, but has not yet confirmed the cause of death. Saldanha had worked at the King Edward VII’s Hospital for four years. She is remembered as a dedicated nurse. According to Dr. Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing:
This is tragic news, and the thoughts of all at the Royal College of Nursing go to the family of Jacintha Saldanha. It is deeply saddening that a simple human error due to a cruel hoax could lead to the death of a dedicated and caring member of the nursing profession.
Saldanha leaves behind a husband and two children.