UK – There are a few things in this world I loathe. Child abusers, the space between theater seats that suck cell phones from your pocket, Christmas, and morning DJ’s (who, aside from not being funny, use our stuff on air and do not give us credit).
Speaking of the latter, a pair of morning DJ’s in Australia made a really stupid prank call to the hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge was staying, and now the nurse who took the call has been found dead in an apparent suicide.
For those of you who haven’t heard the incredibly important news regarding Kate Middleton being in the hospital recently, she and Prince Williams are expecting a baby and she was recently admitted to King Edward VII hospital suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum — or as others have called it, morning sickness times 1000.
While at the hospital recuperating, two morning DJ’s in Australia decided they would try calling the hospital to ask how she was doing while pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles. Using horrible accents, Mel Greig and Michael Christian spoke with Jacintha Saldanha. She has been a nurse at the hospital for four years, and had been helping with the phones Wednesday morning when the hoax call was placed.
Thinking she was speaking to the Queen when Craig asked to speak to her granddaughter, Saldanha put her through to one of the nurses caring for the Duchess who then gave the morning DJs personal information regarding Middleton’s health and care. The entire call was recorded, checked out by the radio station’s lawyers, then broadcast to Sydney.
After the stunt made headlines across the globe for some reason, the hospital boss, John Lofthouse, confirmed his staff had passed on information about Kate, saying: “This was a foolish prank call that we all deplore.” The radio station would respond with by apologizing for any inconvenience they may have caused, saying the prank was pulled “with the best intentions.”
Meanwhile, the two DJs who made the call basked in their new found fame and were doing their best to ride the wave for as long as possible. This morning Christian was using his Twitter to brag about the prank and was reminding people to tune in to his morning show to find out more about the #royalprank. Ugh.
Christian and Greig aren’t gloating as much now, especially since it has been reported that the nurse who initially answered their call has been found dead of an apparent suicide. Paramedics received a call this morning regarding an unconscious person at a residence just yards away from the hospital. Paramedics would find the body of Saldanha, a married mother of two, and unsuccessfully tried to revive her. Authorities have not released how she died, aside from stating it was a suicide.
The hospital has released a statement that read: ”Jacintha has worked at the King Edward VII Hospital for more than four years. She was an excellent nurse and a well-respected and popular member of staff with all her colleagues. We can confirm that Jacintha was recently the victim of a hoax call to the hospital. The hospital has been supporting her at this difficult time. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies at this time are with her family and friends. Everyone is shocked by the loss of a much-loved and valued colleague.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also released a statement saying: ”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.“
Obviously the DJs are suffering a bit of backlash today, and both have deleted their Twitter profiles. The radio station they work for ended up deleting their Facebook page because it was getting raped and are expected to give a statement today. I’m on the fence with this one. On one hand, I hate morning DJs and relish whenever they come under fire for pulling stupid ratings pranks. On the other, it was just a stupid prank call. There is no way they could have known it would result in someone’s suicide — if that even is the motivating factor behind Saldanha taking her own life.
But I will say that I have some experience with healthcare environments. What Saldanha did is an embarrassing gaffe on a professional level, even if the hospital had stated no disciplinary actions had been taken against Saldanha. Not only would Saldanha have to endure her colleagues knowing that two Australian DJs tricked her into helping give out personal info on a celebrity patient, the Duchess of Cambridge no less, Saldanha would also have to endure that blunder being reported on all over the world.
I’m not saying this would be a good reason to off yourself, but I do understand how this could really, really mess with a nurse’s head. Regardless, the silver lining to all this is that the careers of two morning djs are finished.Tags: Australia, Crime, Jacintha Saldanha, Kate Middleton, Mel Greig, Michael Christian, prank, Suicide, Twitter, UK