Five years have passed since a royal nurse committed suicide after she fell victim to a radio prank and mistakenly revealed details of Kate Middleton’s pregnancy when she was expecting Prince George. And the family of Jacintha Saldanha is still healing.
Saldanha killed herself in 2012 three days after two Australian radio DJs called her and impersonated Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, prompting Saldanha to share confidential details about the Duchess of Cambridge’s medical information. The call was recorded and broadcast.
Saldanha’s daughter, Janice Pinto, told Australia’s WHO magazine the family is “coping and getting on with our lives” on the fifth anniversary of her mom’s death.
“The first few years were the hardest,” the 20-year-old said. “She would call me every day at 6 p.m., just before she went to work. To check up… That phone call is what I miss every day.”
Her son, Junal Barboza, added, “She was the sort of person who would always go the extra mile to help a family member, and we’ve had a number of significant letters from people within the medical profession telling us just how good she was at her job.”
He said through the outpouring of support that following his mom’s death, he’s learned about her dedication to her work.
“Learning about her was a real eye-opener and has provided the stepping stone for what we want to achieve,” he told WHO magazine. “Whatever I do now, any achievement, will be for her and for my dad and for my family. That is the way that I kind of live my life.”
After Saldanha took her own life, The Royal Palace issued a statement in support of the 46-year-old.
“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jacintha Saldanha,” the Royal Family said at the time. “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.”
Prince William later wrote to the family, according to People, “We were both very shocked to hear about Jacintha, and have been thinking a lot about her recently. Many of the nurses in the hospital spoke highly of her and I’m sure you know how great a nurse she was.”
The death sparked an angry backlash from those who argued the Australian DJs who carried out the hoax should be held responsible.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.