A woman puts flowers on the coffin of Jacintha Saldanha at Our Lady of Health Church in Shirva, India, Dec. 17.The body of Saldanha, the nurse who committed suicide in London after falling for a hoax by Australian radio announcers, was buried in her hus band's native village. CNS photo/Reuters

Thousands gather in India for funeral of nurse hoaxed in Britain

By  Catholic News Service
  • December 17, 2012

MANGALORE, India - Thousands gathered at Our Lady of Health Church in Shirva, just outside Mangalore, for the funeral of Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse who killed herself after falling for a hoax from Australian radio announcers.

Her husband, Ben Barboza, and her two teenage children, traveled to England to retrieve the body. On Dec. 15, they attended a memorial Mass for her in London's Westminster Cathedral.

In a joint tribute read on the steps of the cathedral afterward, the children said: "We are shattered and there's an unfillable void in our lives. The house is an empty dwelling without your presence."

Saldanha, a senior nurse at the King Edward VII Hospital in London, was the victim of a hoax by two Australian disc jockeys who telephoned the hospital pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles.

She put the call through to a colleague, who gave details of the treatment of the Duchess of Cambridge, the pregnant wife of Prince William, who was in the hospital with severe morning sickness.

Days later, she was found hanged in the hospital nurses' quarters. Suicide notes were found.

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