Royal Hoax call: Nurse Jacintha Saldanha's brother says she died of shame

Jacintha Saldanha

"We just cannot believe what has happened," she said.

"She was a very strong person and couldn't have taken this drastic step easily. We would like to get an answer," Celine said.

The family live in Southmead, Bristol, and Saldanha stayed in nurse' quarters in London during her shifts at the hospital.

Saldanha's mother-in-law, 85-year-old Carmine Barboza, said that the family was desperate to bring her body back to India to perform the last rites in the Catholic tradition.

"Nobody is telling me any information about her and whether her body is being brought to India," she added.

After visiting Saldanha's family at their home, MP Keith Vaz said a memorial service was being planned for next week and the King Edward VII Hospital had set up a memorial fund in her name.

Although she was not blamed in any way for what happened, friends said Saldanha "took it very badly" and was extremely "traumatised".

The hospital has repeatedly stressed that Saldanha did not face any disciplinary action and it "was working hard to support her" but the feeling that she had unintentionally broken the hospital rules, bringing shame on her and her employer, may well have pushed her into taking desperate action.

Her fellow victim of the prank, who has not been named, is also said to have been "incredibly upset".

Yesterday a special Mass was said at St Vincent de Paul Presbytery in Southmead, just 200 yards from Saldanha's home.

"She was a very caring wife, a very loving mother and a gentle friend and neighbour who regularly attended church here. People are saddened it is still all very raw. She was well known and well liked in the community and she will be a loss," father Tom Finnegan said.

"She felt especially privileged to work in the hospital in London everyone is deeply shocked and saddened," he added.

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