Royal hoax nurse's daughter tells of 'void'

TIM BARLASS
Last updated 11:24 16/12/2012

Family and friends gathered at Westminster Cathedral for a mass remembering the nurse who apparently killed herself after taking a prank call at the hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge received treatment. Sarah Irwin reports.

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Mass held in London for Jacintha Saldanha

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The family of the nurse Jacintha Saldanha, who was found dead after the 2DayFM hoax call to the hospital treating the Duchess of Cambridge, have attended a memorial service where emotional tributes to her memory were delivered.

Her husband, Benedict Barboza, and children Lisha, 14, and Junal, 16, led the mourners at St Teresa's Church in Bristol, where they lived previously, as Father Tom Finnegan praised her caring and nurturing devotion as a nurse.

He read a tribute from Lisha, who said: ''We miss you so much. Your priority for us was a good education and a bright future. You taught us right from wrong.

''The house is empty, a dwelling without a presence. We are shattered and there is an incredible void in our life. We will always love you and keep you close in our heart.''

In a tribute read out for Mr Barboza, an NHS accountant, he said he felt ''as if a part of me has been ripped off'' and he also said he missed his wife's ''sparkling personality''.

''Your loss is very painful and I will love you and miss you forever.''

King Edward Vll Hospital in London also held a service for ''deeply shocked'' colleagues and friends.

The hospital's chief executive, John Lofthouse, said in a statement: ''Everybody knew Jacintha, and we were all left deeply shocked by her tragic death following the hoax telephone call.

''This service was a chance for everyone here to pay their respects and remember a dead colleague.''

At an inquest hearing it was revealed Ms Saldanha left three notes before her death. The British media reported one of them addressed her employers and was critical of fellow hospital staff.

Labour MP Keith Vaz called for a release of the ''full facts'' of what occurred, on behalf of the family.

Scotland Yard detectives are to contact the NSW Police Force to assist with interviews before the inquest, which will reopen in March.

The duchess could miss the British royal family's traditional Christmas celebrations at Sandringham according to one newspaper.

Catherine, believed to be 11 weeks pregnant, left hospital on December 6 after spending three days being treated for acute morning sickness.

The royal family visits the Queen's estate in Norfolk annually but Catherine could be too ill to join them, London's Daily Telegraph said.

''It's too early to say, at the moment, whether the duchess will be at Sandringham at Christmas,'' a source told the newspaper.

''Everyone hopes she will be feeling much better by then, but we'll have to wait and see.''

The duchess was being treated for hyperemesis gravidarum, which causes severe nausea and vomiting and can lead to dehydration and weight loss.

Apparently the condition does not ease until 17 or 18 weeks into term.

-Sydney Morning Herald

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