Saturday 16 December 2017

Video: Heartbroken husband of suicide nurse tells of pain

Steven Swinford and Dean Nelson

The husband of the nurse who apparently killed herself after taking a prank call to the ward of Kate Windsor, pictured, says he has "no more strength to bear this loss" amid criticism of the hospital for failing to give the family enough support.

Benedict Barboza, the widower of Jacintha Saldanha, said he was "struggling to come to terms" with her death and disclosed that he and his family had not received counselling.

Mr Barboza and his two children, Junal (16) and Lisha (14) visited the accommodation at King Edward VII hospital in London where it is understood Mrs Saldanha killed herself.

David Cameron said he had been "completely shocked" by the nurse's death and felt "incredibly sorry for her and her family".

Keith Vaz, the Labour MP, said the lack of support the family received contrasted with the Australian radio presenters who made the call, who were given counselling after the reaction left them in a "fragile" state.

In a tearful interview yesterday, the presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian said they were "shattered, gutted, heartbroken" and apologised.


Mr Vaz told BBC Radio 4's 'The World at One': "I would like to see them get the same support that is apparently being given to others because this is a very traumatic time.

"What is needed clearly is an inquiry by the hospital into what has happened. I am a little surprised that nobody has made the journey to Bristol to sit with them and offer the counselling they need."

He added that the family would be unable to grieve until they knew the facts about Mrs Saldanha's death.

Mrs Saldanha (46) put through the hoax call last Tuesday. She was pronounced dead on Friday morning. Mr Barboza, an NHS accountant, and his family visited Scotland Yard with a family liaison officer, before meeting Mr Vaz in the House of Commons and visiting the hospital.

Mrs Saldanha's mother, Carmine, is in hospital in India with a heart condition. Narveen Saldanha, her brother, said she was "heartbroken, weeping and is now under sedation".

Mr Barboza spoke about his loss on a tribute website. "Struggling to come to terms with my wife Jacintha's tragic loss," he wrote. "No strength to bear this loss."

The hospital has set up a fund, with all donations going to the family. It said it told Mrs Saldanha she was not to blame for the prank and that there would be no disciplinary proceedings.

The post-mortem examination will take place today and an inquest is expected to open later this week.

The radio station claimed that it tried at least five times to contact King Edward VII Hospital in London to discuss the pre-recorded prank call before it was put on air. However, the hospital denied the claim.

During two television interviews, the hosts said they wanted to apologise personally to Ms Saldanha's family.

Asked about her reaction on learning that Ms Saldanha had died, Ms Greig said: "I remember my first question was, 'Was she a mother?'" she said. "I am very sorry and saddened for the family. I can't imagine what they are going through. I am just so devastated for them."

(© Daily Telegraph, London)


Irish Independent

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