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Mangalore nurse's family shocked

Bangalore, December 8, DH News Service
Jacintha Saldanha with her children. DH photo

Jacintha Saldanha’s family at Sorkala in Shirva of Udupi district is in a state of shock after learning about her sudden death.

A nurse by profession, Saldanha was fooled into transferring a call by two Australian radio presenters, leading to disclosures on health conditions of the Dutchess of Cambridge Kate Williams, who was admitted at the King Edward VII Hospital in London.   
As the news of Saldanha’s death spread, parishioners and relatives rushed to her in-laws’ house at Shirva.

Saldanha, 46, was a native of Valencia in Mangalore. She completed a course in nursing from the Father Muller College of Nursing in Mangalore in 1984. She worked there for three years, before relocating to Muscat. In 1993, she married Benedict Barboza of Shirva. They have two children, Lisa (14) and Junal (16). The couple moved to the UK about 11 years ago.

She was the fourth of Lawrence and Carmine Saldanha’s six children.
Talking to Deccan Herald at her house in Shirva, Saldanha’s mother-in-law said Benedict had called around 8 pm on Friday. “He just told us that Jacintha was no more, but did not give any other detail.”

Shirva parish priest Rev Fr Stany Tauro also said more details are awaited.
Reminiscing about Saldanha’s last visit home in December 2011, her mother Carmine said the family had a good time then. “Usually they visit home once in two years, during Christmas,” a relative said.

Recalling her association with Saldanha, Sr Aileen Mathias, the chief nursing officer at the Fr Muller Hospital, said: “We were together in the hospital for five years. Jacintha was very smart, jovial, hard working and very good at extra-curricular activities, especially singing and acting. During her last visit to India in December 2011, she had met me and given some money to help poor students.”

When contacted, Saldanha’s youngest brother Naveen, who lives in Mangalore, refused to comment.

Meanwhile, family members are yet to inform Carmine about her daughter’s death. One of Saldanha’s siblings told Deccan Herald that she will be informed on Sunday.
However, no confirmation was received on whether Saldanha’s body will be brought to Mangalore.


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