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Nurse duped in Duchess hospital prank found dead

NEED TO KNOW
  • NEW: Hospital IDs woman as Jacintha Saldanha, an 'excellent nurse'
  • Australian radio show hosts pranked hospital where Kate Middleton was being treated on Tuesday
  • Hospital worker found dead Friday in apparent suicide
Nurse duped in Duchess hospital prank found dead

One of the hospital workers who fell for an Australian radio show’s prank in which a call was put through to Kate Middleton’s nurse while the Duchess was being treated for acute morning sickness was found dead from an apparent suicide Friday morning.

Tuesday morning, two DJs from Sydney’s 2Day FM station called King Edward VII Hospital and pretended to be Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles. They succeeded in reaching the private nurse of the Duchess of Cambridge. 

A hospital statement said the nurse who died was the person who first took the hoax call and transferred it to the ward of the Duchess.

The hospital identified the woman as Jacintha Saldanha, an "excellent nurse" who had worked at the hospital for more than four years and who was well respected by her co-workers.

The hospital statement also said it "had been supporting her throughout this difficult time."

John Lofthouse, chief executive at the hospital, said earlier in the week that the hospital regretted how the privacy of the Duchess was compromised: "This was a foolish prank call that we all deplore. We take patient confidentiality extremely seriously and we are now reviewing our telephone protocols."

A St. James Palace spokesman said: "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jacintha Saldanha."

The radio show posted an apology for the call on its official Twitter feed Wednesday, and issued a statement.

"2Day FM sincerely apologises for any inconvenience caused by the enquiry to Kate's hospital, the radio segment was done with light-hearted intentions, we wish Kate and her family all the best and we're glad to hear she's doing well," it said.

Middleton left the hospital with Prince William Wednesday morning.

Read more: Sweet release: Duchess Kate out of hospital

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