Monday 4 May 2015

Hundreds mourn prank tragedy nurse Jacintha Saldanha

Katie Hodge

Published 17/12/2012 | 14:12

A relative pays tribute near the coffin during a prayer service before the burial of nurse Jacintha Saldanha at a church in her hometown Shirva, near Mangalore in southwest India. Photo: AP
Jacintha Saldanha's relatives carry her coffin during her funeral at a cemetery in Shirva. Photo: Reuters
Floral tributes in memory of nurse Jacintha Saldanha are seen outside the accommodation block where she was found hanged near King Edward VII's Hospital in London. Photo: Reuters
Husband Benedict Barboza, center, holds his son Junal, right, and daughter Lisha during the burial. Photo: Reuters
Benedict Barboza, second right, husband of Jacintha Saldanha, and their son Junal, right, watch daughter Lisha, third right, along with a relative, puts earth into the grave during the burial of nurse Jacintha Saldanha at her hometown Shirva, near Mangalore in southwest India. Photo: AP

HUNDREDS of mourners gathered in a small town in India today for the funeral of a nurse found dead after answering a prank call to the hospital where Kate Middleton was treated for morning sickness.

Friends and family paid their respects to Jacintha Saldanha, 46, during a simple ceremony in Shirva, some 30 miles north of Mangalore on the south-west coast.

Earlier, crowds lined the roads close to the Catholic church to pay their respects while relatives attended a private prayer ceremony at her home.

Ms Saldanha, a mother-of-two, was found hanging in her nurses' quarters at London's King Edward VII's Hospital by a colleague and a security guard on December 7.

Three days earlier she transferred a call from two Australian DJs, believing they were the Queen and Prince of Wales, to a colleague who described in detail the Duchess's condition during her hospital stay.

Her children, Junal, 16, and Lisha, 14, have described the "unfillable void" left in their lives by their mother's death.

During a mass at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday, her husband Benedict Barboza fought back tears as he paid an emotional tribute to his wife, telling mourners: "I feel a part of me has been ripped out."

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