Nurse in hoax call found hanging, had injuries on wrist
Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse who fell victim to a prank by a pair of Australian DJs was later found hanging by her neck with a scarf on a wardrobe door in her room, according to the coroner’s office.
The details emerged yesterday during an inquest into Jacintha’s death. The 46-year-old nurse committed suicide, and was found last Friday — three days after the call to King Edward VII’s Hospital in London from two DJs pretending to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles.
Saldanha, the senior nurse on duty, answered the phone and passed the call to a colleague who revealed personal details about Kate’s condition. The Duchess of Cambridge had been admitted for a severe form of morning sickness.
Inspector James Harman told the inquest that a colleague and a member of the security staff found Saldanha, who was reportedly unconscious but declared dead at the scene after CPR failed.
“Sadly she was found hanging,” Harman told the inquest. “There was also injuries to her wrist. The London Ambulance Service was called to the scene. At this time there are no suspicious circumstances.”
In addition, three suicide notes were found: two in her room and one among her other possessions. Their contents have not been made public but could shed light on her final moments.
The inquest’s hearing will resume March 26 after further interviews are conducted. Saldanha lived in an apartment near the hospital.
A family friend said that her husband had not been informed about her death until he called the hospital, panicked that he had not heard from her for at least two days.
On Thursday night, he asked another nurse to check on Saldanha, but there was no response from inside the apartment, said friend Ivan D’Souza.
His wife was supposed to return home to Bristol the next day, but she never arrived. “She was two hours late when Ben decided to ring the hospital and ask if they knew where she was,” said D’Souza, who lives near Saldanha’s family in India.
“It was at this point he found out she had died and it looked like it was suicide.” “They are concerned that there may have been a delay in the hospital telling the family about her death,” he added. A memorial service for the nurse is planned for Saturday in London.