Entries in Nurse (4)


Royal Prank Call: Nurse Hanged Herself, Left Three Notes

An undated family photograph of Jacintha Saldanha. (STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images)(LONDON) -- Jacintha Saldanha, the London nurse who killed herself after she answered a radio-station prank call about Kate Middleton, was found hanging from the neck and left three notes, according to the coroner's officer.

The 46-year-old nurse who worked at London's King Edward VII Hospital was discovered on Dec. 7 hanging by a scarf from a wardrobe in her bedroom, Coroner's Officer Lynda Martindill told a British inquest.

The wife and mother of two also had injuries to her wrists, according to police detective chief inspector James Harman.

Harman told the coroner's inquest that two notes were found at the scene and a third was discovered among Saldanha's belongings.  He did not release the contents of the notes.

There is no suspicion of foul play in Saldanha's death, Harman said.  Investigators are still trying to piece together exactly what led to her suicide, and are now interviewing her friends, family and co-workers to find more information, he said.

Saldanha was found dead last Friday morning after police were called to an address near the hospital to "reports of a woman found unconscious," according to a statement from Scotland Yard.

Saldanha had worked at the hospital for more than four years.

DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian of 2Day FM in Sydney called the hospital on Dec. 5 pretending to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles, looking to speak to Middleton, who was being treated at the hospital for acute nausea related to her pregnancy.  The duo were able to obtain information about the duchess' condition.

When the royal impersonators called the hospital, Saldanha put them through to a second nurse who told the royal impersonators that Middleton was "quite stable" and hadn't "had any retching."

The radio station, along with Greig and Christian, has apologized for the prank call, and the Australian Communications and Media Authority has now launched an investigation into the incident.

Coroner Fiona Wilcox has adjourned the inquest into Saldanha's death until March 26.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Radio Pranksters Pulled Off Air After Nurse's Death

HotAustralian DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian have been pulled off the air until further notice. (Hot30 Countdown/Facebook)(LONDON) -- The two Australian radio hosts who prank-called the hospital where Kate Middleton was being treated have been pulled off the air "until further notice" after the hoaxed nurse was found dead Friday.

"Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) and 2Day FM are deeply saddened by the tragic news of the death of nurse Jacintha Saldanha from King Edward VII's Hospital and we extend our deepest sympathies to her family and all that have been affected by this situation around the world," the radio station said in a statement posted on their Facebook page.

The station's chief executive spoke with the DJs, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, and "they are both deeply shocked," the statement said. The parties agreed that the hosts would not comment on the situation.

"SCA and the hosts have decided that they will not return to their radio show until further notice out of respect for what can only be described as a tragedy," the statement said.

In the Tuesday morning prank call, information about the duchess' condition was released by a nurse to Greig and Christian when they pretended to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles looking to speak to Middleton, who was being treated at the hospital for acute nausea related to her pregnancy.

When the royal impersonators called the hospital, Saldanha put through to a second nurse who told the royal impersonators that Kate was "quite stable" and hadn't "had any retching."

"It is with very deep sadness that we confirm the tragic death of a member of our nursing staff," the hospital said in a statement released Friday.

"We can confirm that Jacintha was recently the victim of a hoax call to the hospital," the statement said. "The hospital had been supporting her throughout this difficult time."

The hospital said that Saldanha worked at the hospital for more than four years. They called her a "first-class nurse" and "a well-respected and popular member of the staff."

The hospital extended their "deepest sympathies" to family and friends, saying that "everyone is shocked" at this "tragic event."

"She will be greatly missed," the hospital said.

"The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jacintha Saldanha," a spokesman from St. James Palace said in a statement.

"Their Royal Highnesses were looked after so wonderfully well at all times by everybody at King Edward VII Hospital, and their thoughts and prayers are with Jacintha Saldanha's family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time," the statement said.

Police were called to an address near the hospital at about 9:35 a.m. GT Friday to "reports of a woman found unconscious," according to a statement from Scotland Yard.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. "Inquiries continue to establish the circumstances of the incident. Next of kin have been informed," the statement said.

Circumstances of the death being investigated, but are not suspicious at this stage, according to police.

The duchess spent three days at the hospital undergoing treatment for hyperemesis gravidarum, severe or debilitating nausea and vomiting. She was released from the hospital on Thursday morning.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Moammar Gadhafi Nurse Speaks Out about 'Daddy'

Salah Malkawi/ Getty Images(MOGILNOYE, Ukraine) -- Oksana Balinskaya wouldn't be able to tell anyone where to look for Libyan Col. Moammar Gadhafi, but what she can tell you is that the fugitive leader is a healthy man.

Balinskaya was one of five Ukrainian nurses assigned to take care of Gadhafi's medical needs for the past few years until she returned last February to her home in Mogilnoye, Ukraine.  That was just around the time when Libyan rebels began their revolution that eventually upended Gadhafi's four-decade-long regime.

The nurse told CNN that "Daddy," as the nurses referred to their boss, "gave us jobs, money and a good life...He would ask us whether we are happy and whether we have everything that we need."

She also dismissed the rumors that Gadhafi used the nurses as his own personal harem, claiming there was nowhere he and they could go without being surrounded by his wife, children and grandchildren.

Having given birth to a child since her return to Ukraine, Balinskaya would like to one day go back to Libya even though she knows Gadhafi won't ever be her "daddy" again.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Gadhafi: Lover of Gold Watches, Italian Food, Being Called 'Papa'

Salah Malkawi/ Getty Images(TRIPOLI, Libya) -- The world got some rare insight Tuesday into the secret world of embattled Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi from one of his former Ukrainian nurses, Oksana Balinskaya.

Balinskaya, one of five nurses assigned to Gadhafi's personal medical team, fled Tripoli in February as Libya erupted into near civil war. She returned to her native Ukraine and has been in hiding ever since. In a rare interview with a leading Russian newspaper Tuesday, she lifted the lid on the bizarre world of those living close to Colonel Gadhafi.

According to Balinskaya, Gadhafi's loyal servants call him "Papa," and in return for their loyalty they receive special gold watches embossed with his face, one every year on the anniversary of his coming to power.

"On September 1 every year, the date when Gadhafi [assumed power], we were given Italian gold watches with his picture on them. People who have been working for him for six or eight years, why they've got an entire collection already. You can only tell somebody who works for Papa by their watch," she told Russia's Komosomolskaya Pravda.

On one trip to New York, Balinskaya claimed Gadhafi gave large sums of cash to his entourage so they could go shopping in Manhattan.

"Papa gave a personal order to give us some money so we could run around the local boutiques," she said. According to her, Gadhafi, despite his sometimes eccentric public behavior, is in great physical shape, enjoys eating Italian food, couscous and camel meat.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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