In a sad and shocking twist, the nurse who works at the hospital where Kate Middleton was treated and who was reportedly duped by an Australian radio show has been found dead, and is suspected of killing herself.
The Daily Mail reports that the nurse was found unconscious at an address near the King Edward VII Hospital in Paddington, London. She was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics. One source told the Mail that she appeared to have killed herself.
In a statement from the hospital, the nurse has been named as Jacintha Saldanha. She was described as the “victim of a hoax call.” The hospital also says its staff “had been supporting her throughout this difficult time.”
The nurse was tricked by two Australian radio DJs, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, who called up the hospital pretending to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles.
Despite their laughable accents, the pair were transferred to Kate Middleton’s room, where the mother-to-be was hospitalized with morning sickness. A woman named Vanessa gave the pair information on Middleton, who was apparently sleeping.
The BBC says that Saldanha was the nurse who answered the phone. She had not been reprimanded by the hospital for the incident.
The Royal College of Nursing, an organisation that represents nurses in the U.K., has issued a statement, by chief executive Dr Peter Carter, saying it is “deeply saddening that a simple human error due to a cruel hoax could lead to the death of a dedicated and caring member of the nursing profession.” Kate Middleton and Prince William have also said they are “deeply saddened” by the news.
Here’s the video of the call, which soon went viral after being uploaded this week:
UPDATE: While the woman was originally believed to have been a receptionist, the London Evening Standard reports she was in fact a nurse staffing the switchboard. This post has been updated to reflect that.