* Nurse died days after Australian radio station prank call
* Saldanha found hanged in her hospital lodging
* Family say death has left them shattered
By Michael Holden
LONDON, Dec 15 The family of a nurse who
apparently committed suicide after taking a prank call at the
hospital treating Prince William's pregnant wife Kate delivered
a tearful tribute to her on Saturday, saying her death had left
"an unfillable void".
Jacintha Saldanha was found hanged from a wardrobe with
injuries to her wrist in staff lodgings at London's King Edward
VII hospital days after she answered the hoax call from an
Australian radio station and put it through to a colleague who
divulged details of Kate's health.
Last week's call made headlines around the world as did
Indian-born Saldanha's death, leading to widespread condemnation
of the radio station responsible and the DJs behind the stunt.
Wiping away tears outside London's Roman Catholic
Westminster Cathedral where the family attended mass, her
husband Benedict said "part of me has been ripped out".
"The events of the past week have shattered our lives and we
barely have the strength to withstand the grief and sorrow," he
told reporters, thanking William and Kate for kind words as well
as Prime Minister David Cameron for a message of condolence.
"Nineteen years of togetherness with a strong bond of
affection and understanding will be cherished forever in my
life. Your loss is a very painful one and nobody can take that
place in my life ever again. I love you and miss you forever."
Her children Lisha, 14, and Junal, 16, spoke of a generous
mother who had worked tirelessly to provide for them.
"The house is an empty dwelling without your presence. We
are shattered and there is an unfillable void in our lives,"
Lisha said. "We love you mum, sleep in peace and please watch
over us until we meet again in heaven."
The media storm erupted after DJs Mel Greig and Michael
Christian from Sydney radio station 2Day FM phoned the King
Edward hospital, pretending to be William's grandmother Queen
Elizabeth and his father, heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles.
Despite their unconvincing impersonations, Saldanha, 46,
transferred the call to a nurse on the ward where Kate, Duchess
of Cambridge, was being treated for severe morning sickness.
Greig and Christian, who have spoken of their devastation at
events, have been suspended and the radio station is facing an
inquiry from the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
At the opening on Thursday of an inquiry into the death of
Saldanha, whose funeral will take place in India on Monday, the
coroner was told three notes were found with her body.
Hospital bosses said on Friday they provided her with
support after the prank call and had not criticised her role.
"They stood by her actions, and made it clear there was no
criticism of her, and that there would be no disciplinary action
of any kind," the hospital said in a statement.
British lawmaker Keith Vaz, who accompanied the family on
Saturday, said they wanted the hospital to provide answers as to
what exactly had happened.
(Edited by Jason Webb)